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Working paper

Intersectoral linkages: Good shocks, bad outcomes?

CEPR. DP. CEPR, 2019. No. DP13946.
We analyze multisector models with endogenous product variety and derive general results on the magnitude of welfare changes due to sector-specific price shocks. Intersectoral linkages magnify or dampen these shocks, depending on complementarity or substitutability in consumers’ preferences. Under the widely used combination of Cobb-Douglas-CES utilities and monopolistic competition, intersectoral linkages disappear. This does not hold with more general preferences or market structures, where sector-specific price shocks that are a priori welfare improving can turn out to be welfare worsening economy-wide. We illustrate this result with several examples, in particular where one sector is ‘granular’ and the other is monopolistically competitive.