Toward a Theory of Monopolistic Competition
The article deals with the theory of monopolistic competition under demand uncertainty. The authors consider the economy with labor immobility consisting of the high-tech sector with monopolistic competition and the standard sector with perfect competition. Preferences between sectors are specified by the Cobb – Douglas production function. It is assumed that companies make output decisions under preferences uncertainty and consumers’ distribution by sectors will be known by the time of realization. It means that firms are informed about consumer demand with accuracy up to a multiplicative uncertainty which is generated by random parameters in the Cobb – Douglas utility function. The paper shows that demand uncertainty leads to consistent growth of prices and wages in high-tech sector in relation to salaries in the second sector. The impact of uncertainty on welfare is ambiguous. In particular, under the known expected value of uncertainty customers derive benefit from exaggerated companies’ expectations about clients’ desire to consume high-tech goods.
We propose a general equilibrium model to study the spatial inequality of consumers and firms within a city. Our mechanics rely on Dixit and Stiglitz monopolistic competition framework. The firms and consumers are continuously distributed across a two-dimensional space, there are iceberg-type costs both for goods shipping and workers commuting (hence firms have variable marginal costs based on their location). Our main interest is in the equilibrium spatial distribution of wealth. We construct a model that is both tractable and general enough to stand the test of real city empirics. We provide some theoretical statements, but mostly the results of numerical simulations with the real Moscow data.
We propose a model of monopolistic competition with additive preferences and variable marginal costs. Using the concept of "relative love for variety," we provide a full characterization of the free-entry equilibrium. When the relative love for variety increases with individual consumption, the market generates pro-competitive effects. When it decreases, the market mimics anti-competitive behavior. The constant elasticity of substitution is the only case in which all competitive effects are washed out. We also show that our results hold true when the economy involves several sectors, firms are heterogeneous, and preferences are given by the quadratic utility and the translog.