IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zur/iewwpx/296.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Mass Consumption, Exclusion, and Unemployment

Author

Listed:
  • Reto Foellmi
  • Joseph Zweim�ller

Abstract

We introduce non-homothetic preferences into a general equilibrium model of monopolistic competition and explore the impact of income inequality on the medium-run macroeconomic equilibrium. We find that (i) a sufficiently high extent of inequality divides the economy into mass consumption sectors (where firms charge low prices and hire many workers) and exclusive sectors (where firms charge high prices and hire few workers). (ii) High inequality may lead to a situation of underemployment and that underemployment could be �Keynesian� in the sense that it cannot be cured by downward-flexible real wages. (iii) A redistribution of income from rich to poor (by means of progressive taxation) leads to higher employment and such a redistribution is Pareto-improving. (iv) An exogenous increase in (minimum) real wages have a cost effect (that lets firms reduce their employment) and a purchasing power effect (that creates an incentive for mass production and raises aggregate employment) with ambiguous net effects. (v) The economy may feature multiple equilibria where full-employment and unemployment equilibria co-exist.

Suggested Citation

  • Reto Foellmi & Joseph Zweim�ller, 2006. "Mass Consumption, Exclusion, and Unemployment," IEW - Working Papers 296, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:296
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp_iew/iewwp296.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1993. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1184-1198, December.
    2. Devashish Mitra & Vitor Trindade, 2005. "Inequality and trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1253-1271, November.
    3. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2002. "The Rise of Mass Consumption Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1035-1070, October.
    4. Claude d'Aspremont & Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira & Louis-André Gérard-Varet, 1990. "On Monopolistic Competition and Involuntary Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 895-919.
    5. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1001-1026.
    6. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimuller, 2006. "Income Distribution and Demand-Induced Innovations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 941-960.
    7. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1989. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 537-564.
    8. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    9. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2006. "Distribution and Growth in an Economy with Limited Needs: Variable Markups and 'the End of Work'," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 382-407, April.
    10. Oliver Hart, 1982. "A Model of Imperfect Competition with Keynesian Features," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(1), pages 109-138.
    11. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 11-92, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    13. Chou, Chien-Fu & Talmain, Gabriel, 1996. "Redistribution and Growth: Pareto Improvements," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 505-523, December.
    14. Silvestre, Joaquim, 1990. "There May Be Unemployment When the Labour Market Is Competitive and the Output Market Is Not," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 899-913, September.
    15. Foellmi, Reto & Zweimuller, Josef, 2004. "Inequality, market power, and product diversity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 139-145, January.
    16. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2000. "A Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods under Nonhomothetic Preferences: Demand Complementarities, Income Distribution, and North-South Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1093-1120, December.
    17. Falkinger, Josef, 1994. "An Engelian model of growth and innovation with hierarchic consumer demand and unequal incomes," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 123-139, June.
    18. Devashish Mitra & Vitor Trindade, 2005. "Inequality and trade," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 38(4), pages 1253-1271, November.
    19. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-822, December.
    20. Silvestre, Joaquim, 1993. "The Market-Power Foundations of Macroeconomic Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 105-141, March.
    21. Dehez, Pierre, 1985. "Monopolistic equilibrium and involuntary unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 160-165, June.
    22. Chol-Won Li., "undated". "Inequality and Growth: A Schumpeterian Perspective," Working Papers 9609, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Feb 1998.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lee, David & Saez, Emmanuel, 2012. "Optimal minimum wage policy in competitive labor markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 739-749.
    2. Sascha Becker & Peter Egger, 2013. "Endogenous product versus process innovation and a firm’s propensity to export," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 329-354, February.
    3. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimüller, 2011. "Exclusive Goods and Formal-Sector Employment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 242-272, January.
    4. Jochen Michaelis, 2013. "Und dann werfen wir den Computer an – Anmerkungen zur Methodik der DSGE-Modelle," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201323, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimüller, 2010. "Mass versus Exclusive Goods, and Formal-Sector Employment," Diskussionsschriften dp1005, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    2. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimuller, 2006. "Income Distribution and Demand-Induced Innovations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 941-960.
    3. Hatipoglu, Ozan, 2008. "Patent, Inequality and Innovation-Driven Growth," MPRA Paper 7855, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Foellmi, Reto & Wuergler, Tobias & Zweimüller, Josef, 2014. "The macroeconomics of Model T," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 617-647.
    5. Josef ZweimüLler, 2000. "Inequality, Redistribution, and Economic Growth," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 1-20, March.
    6. Zweimuller, Josef, 2000. "Schumpeterian Entrepreneurs Meet Engel's Law: The Impact of Inequality on Innovation-Driven Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 185-206, June.
    7. Christophe Ehrhart, 2009. "The effects of inequality on growth: a survey of the theoretical and empirical literature," Working Papers 107, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    8. Reto Foellmi und Josef Zweim�ller, "undated". "Inequality and Economic Growth - European Versus U.S. Experiences," IEW - Working Papers 158, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    9. Demmou, Lilas, 2012. "How product innovation in the North may immiserize the South," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 293-304.
    10. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2019. "Engel's Law in the Global Economy: Demand‐Induced Patterns of Structural Change, Innovation, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(2), pages 497-528, March.
    11. Oded Galor, 2009. "Inequality and Economic Development: An Overview," Working Papers 2009-3, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    12. Reto Foellmi & Christian Hepenstrick & Josef Zweimüller, 2010. "Non-homothetic preferences, parallel imports and the extensive margin of international trade," Diskussionsschriften dp1009, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    13. Amedeo Panci, 1999. "Multiple equilibria: coordination failure and endogenous cycle," Working Papers 30, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
    14. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweim�ller, "undated". "Structural Change and the Kaldor Facts of Economic Growth," IEW - Working Papers 111, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    15. Yo Chul Choi & David Hummels & Chong Xiang, 2006. "Explaining Import Variety and Quality: The Role of the Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 12531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Tarasov Alexander, 2009. "Income Distribution, Market Structure, and Individual Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-39, December.
    17. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimüller, 2011. "Exclusive Goods and Formal-Sector Employment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 242-272, January.
    18. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimüller, 2017. "Is inequality harmful for innovation and growth? Price versus market size effects," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 359-378, April.
    19. Desdoigts, Alain & Jaramillo, Fernando, 2009. "Trade, demand spillovers, and industrialization: The emerging global middle class in perspective," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 248-258, November.
    20. Chu, Angus C., 2012. "Global Poverty Reduction And Pareto-Improving Redistribution," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 605-624, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income distribution; monopolistic competition; mark-ups; exclusion;

    JEL classification:

    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:296. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/seizhch.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.