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Racing with uncertainty: a patent race experiment

  • Zizzo, Daniel John

This paper presents an experimental test of the multi-stage patent race model by Harris and Vickers (1987). Tied competitors invested more when nearer the end of the race, but this may have followed from a more general and unexplained pattern of a positive correlation between investment and progress in the race. The relationship between investment and gap between competitors was mostly not as predicted. Also, leaders did not invest more than (not heavily lagging) followers, and the race did not approach monopoly as the gap between competitors widened. Overall, the evidence brings only limited support to the theory.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8P-44GKY3X-1/2/636c2cb0cd995a1edd3e3e95ffba685d
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 20 (2002)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 877-902

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:20:y:2002:i:6:p:877-902
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1985. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Model of a Race," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 193-209, April.
  2. Isaac, R. Mark & Reynolds, Stanley S., 1992. "Schumpeterian competition in experimental markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 59-100, January.
  3. Cockburn, Iain. & Henderson, Iain., 1994. "Racing to invest? : the dynamics of competition in ethical drug discovery," Working papers 3710-94., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  4. Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1987. "Racing with Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 1-21, January.
  5. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-93, June.
  6. Powell, Melanie & Ansic, David, 1997. "Gender differences in risk behaviour in financial decision-making: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 605-628, November.
  7. Furubotn, Eirik G., 2001. "The new institutional economics and the theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 133-153, June.
  8. Fudenberg, Drew & Gilbert, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph & Tirole, Jean, 1983. "Preemption, leapfrogging and competition in patent races," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-31, June.
  9. Isaac, R Mark & Reynolds, Stanley S, 1988. "Appropriability and Market Structure in a Stochastic Invention Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(4), pages 647-71, November.
  10. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-26, June.
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