Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization

41 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2007  

Kevin M. Murphy

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Andrei Shleifer

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Robert W. Vishny

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 1988

Abstract

When world trade is not free and costless, a less developed country can profitably industrialize only if its domestic markets are large enough. In such a country, for increasing returns technologies to break even, sales must be high enough to cover the set-up costs, This paper studies some determinants of the size of the domestic market, and focuses on two conditions conducive to industrialization. First, agriculture or exports must provide the source of autonomous demand for manufactures. Such expansion of autonomous demand usually results from increases in farm productivity or from opening of new export markets. Second, income generated in agriculture or exports must be broadly enough distributed that it materializes as demand for mass-produced domestic goods, and not just for luxuries. We resort to these two determinants of the size of domestic markets to interpret several historical development episodes.

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Kevin M. and Shleifer, Andrei and Vishny, Robert W., Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization (September 1988). NBER Working Paper No. w2709. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=382142

Kevin M. Murphy (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Andrei Shleifer

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/~ashleife/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

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HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Robert W. Vishny

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
312-702-2522 (Phone)
312-702-0118 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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