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Competition and Innovation in Automobile Markets

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  • Vivek Ghosal
  • Jiayao Ni

Abstract

Using data from the U.S. automobile market, we empirically examine the link between competition and innovation. Consistent with a large literature, we use patent counts as a measure of innovation. The combination of the U.S. market’s economic importance, market dynamics, and the significant intertemporal fluctuations in firms’ market shares and patents make this an interesting market to examine the link between competition and innovation. We use firm-level time-series data over a long horizon (1969-2012) for nine well established firms selling in the U.S. market (GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler). Some of our key findings are: (1) increase in firms’ market shares result in higher patenting, and the relationship is reasonably non-linear; (2) higher market-wide competition results in an increase in patenting, and the relationship is weakly non-linear; (3) the (absolute) quantitative impact on patents is larger for firms’ market share effect as compared to market-wide competition; (4) there is relatively strong path-dependence in firms’ patenting behavior; and (5) we find interesting results linking patents to GM’s bankruptcy, the Daimler-Chrysler merger, environmental regulations, voluntary export restraints, and firms’ patenting over business cycles.

Suggested Citation

  • Vivek Ghosal & Jiayao Ni, 2015. "Competition and Innovation in Automobile Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 5504, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5504
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    Cited by:

    1. Greco, Marco & Locatelli, Giorgio & Lisi, Stefano, 2017. "Open innovation in the power & energy sector: Bringing together government policies, companies’ interests, and academic essence," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 316-324.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    patents; innovation; market share; competition; automobiles; business cycles; mergers; environmental regulations; antitrust;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics

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