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PRODUCT QUALITY, INCOME INEQUALITY AND MARKET STRUCTURE

Tanmoyee Banerjee (Chatterjee) () and Ajitava Raychaudhuri ()

Journal of Economic Development, 2004, vol. 29, issue 1, 51-84

Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of a change in distribution of income on quality choice made by firms producing search goods. It is assumed that willingness to pay for quality of consumers is an increasing function of income. Under the assumption that distribution of income is positively skewed, which is a common characteristic of developing countries, any redistribution of income will induce firms to improve their quality levels in duopoly and monopoly markets if redistribution makes consumers equally or unequally better off. On the other hand, quality levels will deteriorate if poverty is distributed more equally among consumers.

Keywords: Product Quality; Income Inequality; Heterogeneous Preferences; Discriminating Monopolist; Two-Stage Duopoly Game (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 D42 D43 L15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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