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Competition, R&D, and the cost of innovation: evidence for France


  • Philippe Askenazy
  • Christophe Cahn
  • Delphine Irac


Aghion and coauthors put forward a model which exhibits an inverted-U-shape relationship between innovation and competition: competition may increase the innovation profit margin for firms close to the technological frontier (since they escape competition) but strong competition could also reduce incentives to innovate for laggards (disincentive effect). However their analysis does not take firm size into account. This paper explores this link. Our model stresses that size should matter: if innovations are large-scale and costly in the firm's sector or relatively to the size of the firm, competitive shocks have to be large enough to change innovation choices. Using a unique panel of French firms we show an inverted-U-shape relationship that becomes flatter when the relative cost of R&D increases until it vanish altogether for small firms. Copyright 2013 Oxford University Press 2013 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Askenazy & Christophe Cahn & Delphine Irac, 2013. "Competition, R&D, and the cost of innovation: evidence for France," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 293-311, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:65:y:2013:i:2:p:293-311

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    Cited by:

    1. Roper, Stephen & Bourke, Jane, 2022. "Innovating into trouble: When innovation leads to customer complaints," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(10).
    2. Rachel Griffith & John Van Reenen, 2021. "Product market competition, creative destruction and innovation," IFS Working Papers W21/43, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. Guerini, Mattia & Harting, Philipp & Napoletano, Mauro, 2022. "Governance structure, technical change, and industry competition," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    4. Benavente, Jose Miguel & Zuniga, Pluvia, 2021. "How does market competition affect firm innovation incentives in emerging countries? Evidence from Latin American firms," MERIT Working Papers 2021-024, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. John S Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn & Annika Pfister, 2020. "Product market competition and employer provided training in Germany," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press and the Associazione ICC, vol. 29(2), pages 533-556.
    6. Rut Atayde & Rafael Garduño & Eduardo Robles & Pluvia Zúñiga, 2021. "Market competition and firm productivity and innovation: Responses in Mexican manufacturing industries," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 1185-1214, August.
    7. Liliana Varela, 2018. "Reallocation, Competition, and Productivity: Evidence from a Financial Liberalization Episode," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(2), pages 1279-1313.
    8. Driss El Kadiri Boutchich, 2020. "Factors with significant impact on efficiency of research laboratories: case of the public university," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 54(4), pages 1317-1333, August.
    9. Mulkay, Benoît, 2019. "How does competition affect innovation behaviour in french firms?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 237-251.
    10. Francesco Daveri & Rémy Lecat & Maria Laura Parisi, 2016. "Service Deregulation, Competition, and the Performance of French and Italian Firms," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 63(3), pages 278-302, July.
    11. Tetsugen Haruyama & Ken-ichi Hashimoto, 2020. "Innovators and imitators in a world economy," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 130(2), pages 157-186, July.
    12. H. Ben Hassine & F. Boudier & C. Mathieu, 2017. "The two ways of FDI R&D spillovers: evidence from the French manufacturing industry," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(25), pages 2395-2408, May.
    13. Michael L. Polemis & Markos Tselekounis, 2021. "Threshold effects in the regulation-innovation nexus: evidence from the telecommunications industry," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 60(1), pages 74-93, August.
    14. Stéphane Ciriani & François Jeanjean, 2020. "Competition, Technological Change and Productivity Gains: A Sectoral Analysis," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 55(3), pages 192-198, May.
    15. Zhang, Xiang & Zhou, Han, 2022. "The effect of market competition on corporate cash holdings: An analysis of corporate innovation and financial constraint," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    16. Benavente, José Miguel & Zuñiga, Pluvia, 2022. "How Does Market Competition Affect Firm Innovation Incentives in Emerging Countries? Evidence from Chile and Colombia," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 12198, Inter-American Development Bank.
    17. Bettina Becker, 2013. "The Determinants of R&D Investment: A Survey of the Empirical Research," Discussion Paper Series 2013_09, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Sep 2013.
    18. Ciriani, Stephane & Jeanjean, Francois, 2019. "Competition, technological change and productivity gains: the contribution of information technologies," 30th European Regional ITS Conference, Helsinki 2019 205175, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    19. Gan Jin & Günther G. Schulze, 2024. "The Long-term Effect of Western Customs Institution on Firm Innovation in China," Discussion Paper Series 46 JEL Classification: N7, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Feb 2024.
    20. Pilar BeneitoBy & María Engracia Rochina-Barrachina & Amparo Sanchis, 2017. "Competition and innovation with selective exit: an inverted-U shape relationship?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 1032-1053.
    21. MARSCHINSKI Robert & DE AMORES HERNANDEZ Antonio & AMOROSO Sara & BAUER Peter & CARDANI Roberta & CSEFALVAY Zoltan & GENTY Aurelien & GKOTSIS Petros & GREGORI Wildmer & GRASSANO Nicola & HERNANDEZ GUE, 2021. "EU competitiveness: recent trends, drivers, and links to economic policy: A Synthesis Report," JRC Research Reports JRC123232, Joint Research Centre.
    22. Luca Farè, 2022. "Exploring the contribution of micro firms to innovation: does competition matter?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 59(3), pages 1081-1113, October.
    23. Michael L. Polemis & Markos Tselekounis, 2022. "Upstream regulation and non-separable innovation," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 49(2), pages 301-312, June.

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