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Competition and Innovation: The Inverted-U Relationship Revisited

  • Aamir Rafique Hashmi

    (National University of Singapore)

I reexamine the inverted-U relationship between competition and innovation (modeled and tested by Aghion et al. (2005)) by using data from publicly traded manufacturing firms in the United States. I control for the possible endogeneity of competition by using a trade-weighted average of industry exchange rates as an instrument. I find a mildly negative relationship between competition (as measured by the inverse of markups) and innovation (as measured by citation-weighted patents). The negative relationship is robust to many alternative assumptions and specifications. To reconcile the mildly negative relationship in the U.S. data with the inverted-U relationship that Aghion et al. (2005) find in the U.K. data, I modify their theoretical model and show that the modified model can explain both negative and inverted-U relationships. The key theoretical assumption is that the U.K. manufacturing industries are technologically more neck-and-neck than their counterparts in the United States. I find support for this assumption in the data. The different empirical results between the two countries may also arise because of differences in data and samples. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1653-1668

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:5:p:1653-1668
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  1. Nicholas Bloom & Mirko Draca & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Trade Induced Technical Change? The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation, IT and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 16717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Brett Gordon & Ronald Goettler, 2010. "Does AMD spur Intel to innovate more?," 2010 Meeting Papers 151, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Aamir Hashmi, 2007. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Dynamic Analysis of the Global Automobile Industry," 2007 Meeting Papers 362, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Carlin, Wendy & Schaffer, Mark E & Seabright, Paul, 2004. "A Minimum of Rivalry: Evidence from Transition Economies on the Importance of Competition for Innovation and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 4343, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 2008. "Globalization and Innovation in Emerging Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 3299, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted U Relationship," NBER Working Papers 9269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & van Reenen, John, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 529-54, July.
  8. Aamir Rafique HASHMI & Johannes VAN BIESEBROECK, 2012. "The relationship between market structure and innovation in industry equilibrium: a case study of the global automobile industry," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces12.01, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  9. Mukoyama, Toshihiko, 2003. "Innovation, imitation, and growth with cumulative technology," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 361-380, March.
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