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Monopoly and the incentive to innovate when adoption involves switchover disruptions

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  • Thomas J. Holmes
  • David K. Levine
  • James A. Schmitz, Jr.

Abstract

When considering the incentive of a monopolist to adopt an innovation, the textbook model assumes that it can instantaneously and seamlessly introduce the new technology. In fact, firms often face major problems in integrating new technologies. In some cases, firms have to (temporarily) produce at levels substantially below capacity upon adoption. We call such phenomena switchover disruptions, and present extensive evidence on them. If firms face switchover disruptions, then they may temporarily lose some unit sales upon adoption. If the firm loses unit sales, then a cost of adoption is the foregone rents on the sales of those units. Hence, greater market power will mean higher prices on those lost units of output, and hence a reduced incentive to innovate. We introduce switchover disruptions into some standard models in the literature, show they can overturn some famous results, and then show they can help explain evidence that firms in more competitive environments are more likely to adopt technologies and increase productivity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 402.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:402

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  1. Huggett, Mark & Ospina, Sandra, 2001. "Does productivity growth fall after the adoption of new technology?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 173-195, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Erdal Yalcin, 2009. "Uncertain Productivity Growth and the Choice between FDI and Export," CESifo Working Paper Series 2773, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Alain Gabler & Markus Poschke, 2013. "Experimentation by Firms, Distortions, and Aggregate Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 26-38, January.
  3. Davide Castellani & Giorgia Giovannetti, 2010. "Productivity and the international firm: dissecting heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 25-42.
  4. Lei Fang, 2009. "Entry barriers, competition, and technology adoption," Working Paper 2009-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. GABLER, Alain & POSCHKE, Markus, 2011. "Growth through Experimentation," Cahiers de recherche 11-2011, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  6. Carl Shapiro, 2011. "Competition and Innovation: Did Arrow Hit the Bull’s Eye?," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 361-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Norman Gemmel & Richard Kneller & Danny McGowan & Ismael Sanz, 2013. "Corporate Taxation and Productivity Catch-Up: Evidence from European Firms," Working Papers 13001, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
  8. Timothy Dunne & Shawn Klimek & James Schmitz, Jr., 2010. "Competition and Productivity: Evidence from the Post WWII U.S. Cement Industry," Working Papers 10-29, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Bloom, Nicholas & Draca, Mirko & Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Trade induced technical change? The impact of Chinese imports on innovation, IT and productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 8236, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Dan Andrews & Chiara Criscuolo, 2013. "Knowledge-Based Capital, Innovation and Resource Allocation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1046, OECD Publishing.
  11. Sanghamitra Das & Kala M. Krishna & Sergey Lychagin & Rohini Somanathan, 2011. "Lifting the Veil: The Face of TFP in an Indian Rail Mill," CESifo Working Paper Series 3515, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-65, June.

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