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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. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1983. "Uncertain Innovation and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 741-48, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Chad Syverson, 2010. "What Determines Productivity?," NBER Working Papers 15712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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 & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 25-42.
  4. Gemmell, Norman & Kneller, Richard & McGowan, Danny & Sanz, Ismael & Sanz-Sanz, José F., 2013. "Corporate Taxation and Productivity Catch-Up: Evidence from European firms," Working Paper Series 2705, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
  5. Lei Fang, 2009. "Entry barriers, competition, and technology adoption," Working Paper 2009-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Davide Sala & Erdal Yalcin, 2010. "Uncertain Productivity Growth and the Choice between FDI and Export," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_030, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  7. 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.
  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. 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.
  10. Dan Andrews & Chiara Criscuolo, 2013. "Knowledge-Based Capital, Innovation and Resource Allocation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1046, OECD Publishing.
  11. Markus Poschke & Alain Gabler, 2011. "Growth through Experimentation," 2011 Meeting Papers 643, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. 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.

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