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Competition and Innovation

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  • Gilbert Richard J

    (Economics Department, University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

A vast and often confusing economics literature relates competition to investment in innovation. Following Joseph Schumpeter, one view is that monopoly and large scale promote investment in research and development by allowing a firm to capture a larger fraction of its benefits and by providing a more stable platform for a firm to invest in R&D. Others argue that competition promotes innovation by increasing the cost to a firm that fails to innovate. This lecture surveys the literature at a level that is appropriate for an advanced undergraduate or graduate class and attempts to identify primary determinants of investment in R&D. Key issues are the extent of competition in product markets and in R&D, the degree of protection from imitators, and the dynamics of R&D competition. Competition in the product market using existing technologies increases the incentive to invest in R&D for inventions that are protected from imitators (e.g., by strong patent rights). Competition in R&D can speed the arrival of innovations. Without exclusive rights to an innovation, competition in the product market can reduce incentives to invest in R&D by reducing each innovator's payoff. There are many complications. Under some circumstances, a firm with market power has an incentive and ability to preempt rivals, and the dynamics of innovation competition can make it unprofitable for others to catch up to a firm that is ahead in an innovation race.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilbert Richard J, 2006. "Competition and Innovation," Journal of Industrial Organization Education, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-23, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jioedu:v:1:y:2006:i:1:n:8
    DOI: 10.2202/1935-5041.1007
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    6. Atal, Vidya & Bar, Talia & Gordon, Sidartha, 2016. "Project selection: Commitment and competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 30-48.
    7. Syeda Tamkeen Fatima, 2017. "Globalization and technology adoption: evidence from emerging economies," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(6), pages 724-758, August.
    8. Ottoz Elisabetta & Cugno Franco, 2009. "Hybrid Licensing of Product Innovations," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 579-594, October.
    9. VINTU, Denis, 2021. "GDP Modelling and Forecasting Using ARIMA. An Empirical Assessment for Innovative Economy Formation," MPRA Paper 107603, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 11 Feb 2021.
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    11. N. Lacetera & L. Zirulia, 2008. "Knowledge Spillovers, Competition, and R&D Incentive Contracts," Working Papers 624, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    12. Lin, Ping & Zhou, Wen, 2013. "The effects of competition on the R&D portfolios of multiproduct firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 83-91.
    13. Garella, Paolo G., 2012. "Monopoly incentives for cost-reducing R&D," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 21-24.
    14. Arijit Mukherjee & Prabal Roy chowdhury, 2013. "Innovation and social desirability of merger," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 348-360.
    15. Paolo Giorgio GARELLA, 2010. "Monopoly incentives to cost-reducing R&D," Departmental Working Papers 2010-06, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano, revised 27 Mar 2012.
    16. Scuotto, V & Nicotra, M. & Del Giudice, M. & Krueger, N. & Gregori, G.L., 2021. "A microfoundational perspective on SMEs’ growth in the digital transformation era," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 382-392.
    17. Liu, Chih-Chen & Mukherjee, Arijit & Wang, Leonard F.S., 2016. "Product market cooperation, entry and consumer welfare," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 277-280.
    18. Mamman, Aminu & Bawole, Justice & Agbebi, Motolani & Alhassan, Abdul-Razak, 2019. "SME policy formulation and implementation in Africa: Unpacking assumptions as opportunity for research direction," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 304-315.
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