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Firms' Choice of R&D Intensity in the Presence of Aggregate Increasing Returns to Scale

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  • Fölster, Stefan

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

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    Abstract

    When firms possess unique R & D assets such as ideas or particular researchers, and there are aggregate increasing returns to scale in R & D, then there can be several Nash equilibria involving different levels of investment in R & D. However when costless communication is possible firms may be able to coordinate a move towards a pareto-preferred equilibrium provided that the communication is credible. It is shown that in some cases when firms do not move to a pareto-preferred equilibrium in spite of communication one firm may have an incentive to purchase R & D assets from other firms to reap the gain from moving to a high R & D-intensity equilibrium. In the absence of common knowledge however it is not clear whether players will choose strategies that lead to Nash equilibria. Two hypotheses in this case are that communication is much less useful and that the concentration of R & D assets influences players entry decision. These hypotheses are confirmed in a laboratory experiment.

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    File URL: http://www.ifn.se/wfiles/wp/wp211.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 211.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: May 1989
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0211

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    Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
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    Related research

    Keywords: R&D; Nash equilibria; coordination; Pareto-preferred outcome; communication;

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    References

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    1. Joseph Farrell, 1987. "Cheap Talk, Coordination, and Entry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 34-39, Spring.
    2. Novshek, William, 1980. "Cournot Equilibrium with Free Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 473-86, April.
    3. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
    4. Schnee, Jerome E., 1978. "Government programs and the growth of high-technology industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 3-24, January.
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