Competing or Colluding in a Stochastic Framework
This paper addresses the issue of anticompetitive and collusive practices in a continuous-time real option framework. We extend the symmetrical duopoly under uncertainty model by Dixit and Pindyck (1994), by granting a patent to the first innovator that files an application. The patent-investment race model is used to focus on long-term collusive agreements signed under a cooperative bargaining structure. The contributions are as follows. First, we show that, in a stochastic framework, competition always leads to different forms of inefficiency. Second, it is proved that, when entrepreneurs can sign long-term contracts via cooperative bargaining, collusion is always beneficial ex-ante since inefficiency disappears. Third, we show that whilst collusion always delays innovation, it does not necessarily delay competition. Depending on a number of economic, as well as firm-specific factors, collusion can actually accelerate competition.
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