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Better Late Than Early: Vertical Differentiation in the Adoption of a New Technology

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  • Dutta, Prajit K
  • Lach, Saul
  • Rustichini, Aldo

Abstract

After the initial breakthrough in the research phase of R&D, a new product undergoes a process of change, improvement, and adaptation to market conditions. We model the strategic behavior of firms in this development phase. We emphasize that a key dimension to this competition is the innovation that leads to product differentiation and quality improvement. In a duopoly model with a single adoption choice, we derive endogenously the level and diversity of product innovations. We demonstrate the existence of equilibria in which one firm enters early with a low-quality product while the other continues to develop the technology and eventually markets a high-quality good. In such an equilibrium no monopoly rent is dissipated and the later innovator makes more profits. Incumbent firms may well be the early innovators, contrary to the predictions of the "incumbency inertia" hypothesis. Copyright 1995 by MIT Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.

Volume (Year): 4 (1995)
Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
Pages: 563-89

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:4:y:1995:i:4:p:563-89

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  1. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ledders In The Theory Of Growth," Papers 148, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  2. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-26, June.
  4. Prajit K. Dutta, 1990. "Innovation and Product Differentiation," Discussion Papers 894, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Dutta, P.K. & Rustichini, A., 1991. "A Theory of stopping Time Games with Applications to Product Innovations and Asset Sales," RCER Working Papers 263, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ladders And Product Cycles," Papers 39-89, Tel Aviv.
  7. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1985. "Preemption and Rent Equilization in the Adoption of New Technology," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 383-401, July.
  8. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  9. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1983. "Uncertain Innovation and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 741-48, September.
  10. Reinganum, Jennifer F., . "On the Diffusion of New Technology: A Game Theoretic Approach," Working Papers 312, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  11. Segerstrom, Paul S & Anant, T C A & Dinopoulos, Elias, 1990. "A Schumpeterian Model of the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1077-91, December.
  12. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1987. "R&D Rivalry with Licensing or Imitation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 402-20, June.
  13. repec:fth:coluec:484 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Curtis Eaton, B. & Lipsey, Richard G., 1989. "Product differentiation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 723-768 Elsevier.
  15. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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