Strategic technology adoption taking into account future technological improvements: A real options approach
This paper studies a dynamic duopoly in which firms compete in the adoption of new technologies. The innovation process is exogenous to the firms. Both firms have the possibility to adopt a current technology or to wait for a better technology that arrives at an unknown point of time in the future. At the moment that a firm invests it enters a new market with a profit flow that follows a stochastic Brownian motion process. Results turn out to largely depend on the probability that a new technology arrives in the immediate future. If this probability is low, firms only take the current technology into account, which results in the usual preemption game. Increasing this probability gradually changes the outcome from a preemption game where both firms adopt the current technology, to a preemption game where the follower will adopt the new technology. Increasing the probability of arrival of the new technology further, turns the preemption game into a war of attrition where the follower adopting the new technology is better of than the leader. Finally, when the probability of arrival of a new technology is really large, both firms will adopt the new technology.
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