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A Minimum of Rivalry: Evidence from Transition Economies on the Importance of Competition for Innovation and Growth

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Author Info

  • Carlin Wendy

    ()
    (University College London)

  • Schaffer Mark

    ()
    (Heriot-Watt University)

  • Seabright Paul

    ()
    (IDEI, University of Toulouse-1)

Abstract

This paper examines the importance of competition in innovation and the growth of firms. We make use of the large-scale natural experiment of the shift from an economic system without competition to a market economy to shed light on the factors that influence innovation by firms and their subsequent growth, thereby alleviating problems due to non-random clustering of innovation opportunities in mature market economies. We find evidence that monopolies innovate less and have weaker growth than firms facing a minimum of rivalry. The presence of competitors has both a direct effect on performance, and an indirect effect, through improving the efficiency with which the rents from market power in product markets are utilised to undertake innovation. There is also some less clear-cut evidence of an 'inverted-U', namely that the presence of a few rivals is more conducive to performance than the presence of many competitors.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 1-45

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:contributions.3:y:2004:i:1:n:17

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  1. Aghion, Philippe, et al, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 467-92, July.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1997. "Competition and growth with step-by-step innovation: An example," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 771-782, April.
  3. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-46, August.
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  6. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728, May.
  7. Wendy Carlin & Steven Fries & Mark Schaffer & Paul Seabright, 2001. "Competition and Enterprise Performance in Transition Economies: Evidence from a Cross-country Survey," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 376, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  8. Simeon Djankov & Peter Murrell, 2002. "Enterprise Restructuring in Transition: A Quantitative Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 739-792, September.
  9. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & van Reenen, John, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 529-54, July.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1999. "Competition, Financial Discipline and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2128, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
  12. Grosfeld, Irena & Tressel, Thierry, 2001. "Competition, Corporate Governance: Substitutes or Complements? Evidence from the Warsaw Stock Exchange," CEPR Discussion Papers 2888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-47, October.
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