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Innovation, Imitation and Competition

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  • Zhou Wen

    () (University of Hong Kong)

Abstract

In a general equilibrium framework, it is known that imitation may actually promote innovation (Aghion et al., 1997). The same effect is demonstrated with a standard oligopoly model in which one firm has the ability to develop technologies while all other firms imitate and obtain a fraction of it for free. Competition is shown to dampen innovation, while imitation may stimulate it if imitation is strong and competition moderate. The findings have implications for policy toward intellectual property rights protection, as weak protection may promote rather than impede technology innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhou Wen, 2009. "Innovation, Imitation and Competition," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: an Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728.
    2. Jiahua Che & Larry Qiu & Wen Zhou, 2009. "Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement in Imperfect Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000242, David K. Levine.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Christopher Harris & Peter Howitt & John Vickers, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 467-492.
    4. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Innovation, Imitation, and Intellectual Property Rights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1247-1280, November.
    6. Kamien, Morton I & Muller, Eitan & Zang, Israel, 1992. "Research Joint Ventures and R&D Cartels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1293-1306, December.
    7. Perry, Martin K & Porter, Robert H, 1985. "Oligopoly and the Incentive for Horizontal Merger," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 219-227, March.
    8. McAfee, R Preston & Williams, Michael A, 1992. "Horizontal Mergers and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 181-187, June.
    9. Yi, Sang-Seung, 1999. "Market structure and incentives to innovate: the case of Cournot oligopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 379-388, December.
    10. Mookherjee, Dilip & Ray, Debraj, 1991. "On the competitive pressure created by the diffusion of innovations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 124-147, June.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Junichiro Ishida & Toshihiro Matsumura & Noriaki Matsushima, 2011. "Market Competition, R&D And Firm Profits In Asymmetric Oligopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 484-505, September.
    2. Spyros Arvanitis & Florian Seliger, 2014. "Imitation versus innovation," KOF Working papers 14-367, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    3. Olga Slivko & Bernd Theilen, 2014. "Innovation or imitation? The effect of spillovers and competitive pressure on firms’ R&D strategy choice," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 112(3), pages 253-282, July.
    4. Ruble, Richard & Versaevel, Bruno, 2014. "Market shares, R&D agreements, and the EU block exemption," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 15-25.

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