Engel's Law in the Global Economy: Demand-Induced Patterns of Structural Change, Innovation, and Trade

57 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2017

See all articles by Kiminori Matsuyama

Kiminori Matsuyama

Northwestern University - Department of Economics

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Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

Endogenous demand composition across sectors due to nonhomothetic demand (Engel's Law) affects i) sectoral compositions in employment and in value-added, ii) variations in innovation rates and in productivity change across sectors, iii) intersectoral patterns of trade across countries, and iv) migration of industries from rich to poor countries. This paper offers a unifying perspective on how economic growth and globalization affects the patterns of structural change, innovation and trade across countries and across sectors in the presence of Engel's Law. To this end, we develop a two-country model of directed technological change with a continuum of sectors under nonhomothetic preferences, which is rich enough to capture all these effects as well as their interactions. Among the main messages is that globalization amplifies, instead of reducing, the power of endogenous domestic demand composition differences as a driver of structural change.

Keywords: Factor price convergence, Implicit (direct and indirect) additivity, Isoelastically nonhomothetic CES, Leapfrogging, log-supermodularity, Monotone comparative statics, The Linder effect, The Schmookler effect, Trade patterns reversal, Vernon's product cycle hypothesis

JEL Classification: F62, F63, O11, O19, O33

Suggested Citation

Matsuyama, Kiminori, Engel's Law in the Global Economy: Demand-Induced Patterns of Structural Change, Innovation, and Trade (October 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12387, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3057321

Kiminori Matsuyama (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )

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