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Quality Competition, Market Structure and Endogenous Growth

  • Jian Tong

This paper studies the role of quality competition in endogenous growth and institutional factors which can affect growth through affecting quality competition. The R&D-based growth literature as it stands attributes the incentives for innovations to monopolist market structure, and regards the driving force of growth being 'the rent-pull'. This paper presents a 'competition-push' theory of growth by considering an environment where firms can coexist and compete in quality within the same markets. Quality competition takes the form of vertical product differentiation or cost-reducing process innovation, which requires endogenous fixed R&D costs. Due to the nonrival and excludable features of 'quality' and consequent nonconvexity, market concentration naturally occurs in a manner such that R&D intensity and market structure are determined simultaneously in equilibrium. The main conclusions are that quality competition suffices to provide incentives for innovation at industry level, and through knowledge spillovers it also drives aggregate technical progress, that institutional restriction on free entry into quality competition may be desirable to some degree, but monopolization is usually not optimal, that credit constraint which limits quality competition is detrimental to growth.

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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers with number 25.

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Date of creation: Sep 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stieip:25
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  1. Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107 Elsevier.
  2. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1999. "What Determines Firm Size?," NBER Working Papers 7208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
  4. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1996. "Financial Dependence and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  7. Hellwig, Martin & Irmen, Andreas, 2001. "Endogenous Technical Change in a Competitive Economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 1-39, November.
  8. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
  9. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  10. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "Financial Systems, Industrial Structure, and Growth," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 467-482.
  11. 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.
  12. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  13. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:3:p:717-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
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