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Price setting in an innovative market

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  • Adam Copeland
  • Adam Hale Shapiro

Abstract

We examine how the confluence of competition and upstream innovation influences downstream firms’ profit-maximizing strategies. In particular, we analyze how, in light of these forces, the downstream firm sets the price of the product over its life cycle. We focus on personal computers (PCs) and introduce two novel data sets that describe prices and sales in the industry. Our main result is that a vintage-capital model that combines a competitive market structure with a rapid rate of innovation is well able to explain the observed paths of prices, as well as sales and consumer income, over a typical PC’s product cycle. The analysis implies that rapid price declines are not caused by upstream innovation alone, but rather by the combination of upstream innovation and a competitive environment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2013-04.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2013-04

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Keywords: Technological innovations ; Computer industry ; Prices;

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References

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  1. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  2. Brett R. Gordon, 2009. "A Dynamic Model of Consumer Replacement Cycles in the PC Processor Industry," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(5), pages 846-867, 09-10.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and innovation: an inverted U relationship," IFS Working Papers W02/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. 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.
  5. Adam Hale Shapiro & Ana Aizcorbe, 2010. "Implications of Consumer Heterogeneity on Price Measures for Technology Goods," BEA Working Papers 0062, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  6. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2009. "Does Competition Reduce Price Dispersion? New Evidence from the Airline Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37, 02.
  7. Gautam Gowrisankaran & Marc Rysman, 2009. "Dynamics of Consumer Demand for New Durable Goods," NBER Working Papers 14737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ana Aizcorbe & Samuel Kortum, 2005. "Moore's Law and the Semiconductor Industry: A Vintage Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(4), pages 603-630, December.
  9. Timothy Erickson & Ariel Pakes, 2008. "An Experimental Component Index for the CPI: From Annual Computer Data to Monthly Data on Other Goods," NBER Working Papers 14368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ernst R. Berndt & Neal J. Rappaport, 2001. "Price and Quality of Desktop and Mobile Personal Computers: A Quarter-Century Historical Overview," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 268-273, May.
  11. Aamir Rafique Hashmi & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2010. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Dynamic Analysis of the Global Automobile Industry," NBER Working Papers 15959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Harris, Christopher & Howitt, Peter & Vickers, John & Aghion, Philippe, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Scholarly Articles 12375013, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Ana Aizcorbe, 2005. "Moore's Law, Competition, and Intel's Productivity in the Mid-1990s," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 305-308, May.
  14. Borenstein, Severin & Rose, Nancy L, 1994. "Competition and Price Dispersion in the U.S. Airline Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 653-83, August.
  15. Edward C. Prescott & Michael Visscher, 1977. "Sequential Location among Firms with Foresight," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 378-393, Autumn.
  16. Ariel Pakes, 2002. "A Reconsideration of Hedonic Price Indices with an Application to PC's," NBER Working Papers 8715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
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