IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Welfare Implications of User Innovation

  • Henkel, Joachim
  • von Hippel, Eric

The literature on new goods and social welfare generally assumes that manufacturers develop innovations. But innovation by users has been found to also be an important part of innovative activity in the economy. In this Paper we explore the impact of users as a source of innovation on product diversity, innovation, and welfare. We examine the impact of user innovation on inefficiencies that bias the provision of new goods, and find that most are either alleviated or non-existent for user innovation. There are three major reasons for this. First, user innovations tend to complement manufacturer innovations, filling small niches of high need left open by commercial sellers. Second, user innovation helps to reduce information asymmetries between manufacturers and users. Third, user innovations are more likely to be freely revealed than manufacturer innovations. We conclude that, compared to a counterfactual world without such innovation, social welfare is most likely to be increased by the presence of user innovation. We derive implications for policy-makers and managers.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=4063
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4063.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4063
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hart, Oliver D, 1985. "Monopolistic Competition in the Spirit of Chamberlin: Special Results," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380), pages 889-908, December.
  3. Nancy Gallini & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2003. "Intellectual Property: When is it the Best Incentive System?," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000532, David K. Levine.
  4. Michele Boldrin & David Levine, 2002. "The Case Against Intellectual Property," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 209-212, May.
  5. Harhoff, Dietmar & Henkel, Joachim & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "Profiting from voluntary information spillovers: how users benefit by freely revealing their innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1753-1769, December.
  6. Allen, Robert C., 1983. "Collective invention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, March.
  7. James Bessen & Eric Maskin, 2006. "Sequential Innovation, Patents, and Imitation," Economics Working Papers 0025, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  8. Anderson, Simon Peter & de Palma, Andre & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1988. "A Representative Consumer Theory of the Logit Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(3), pages 461-66, August.
  9. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Curtis Eaton, B. & Schmitt, N., 1991. "Flexible Manufacturing and Market Structure," Papers 1991-02, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
  12. Ogawa, Susumu, 1964-, 1997. "Does sticky information affect the locus of innovation? : evidence from the Japanese convenience-store industry," Working papers WP 3984-97., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  13. Rothwell, R. & Freeman, C. & Horlsey, A. & Jervis, V. T. P. & Robertson, A. B. & Townsend, J., 1974. "SAPPHO updated - project SAPPHO phase II," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 258-291, November.
  14. Glen L. Urban & Eric von Hippel, 1988. "Lead User Analyses for the Development of New Industrial Products," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(5), pages 569-582, May.
  15. Pamela D. Morrison & John H. Roberts & Eric von Hippel, 2000. "Determinants of User Innovation and Innovation Sharing in a Local Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(12), pages 1513-1527, December.
  16. Adam B. Jaffe & Josh Lerner & Scott Stern, 2002. "Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 2," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number jaff02-1, 07.
  17. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2003. "Growth Effects Of Nonproprietary Innovation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 429-439, 04/05.
  18. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  19. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Differentiation and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 407-14, May.
  20. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  21. Lancaster, Kelvin, 1975. "Socially Optimal Product Differentiation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 567-85, September.
  22. Curtis Eaton, B. & Lipsey, Richard G., 1989. "Product differentiation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 723-768 Elsevier.
  23. Benkler, Yochai, 2002. "Intellectual property and the organization of information production," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 81-107, July.
  24. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
  26. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Shane Greenstein, 1994. "The Competitive Crash in Large-Scale Commercial Computing," NBER Working Papers 4901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Rothwell, R. & Freeman, C. & Horsley, A. & Jervis, V. T. P. & Robertson, A. B. & Townsend, J., 1993. "SAPPHO updated -- project SAPPHO phase II," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 110-110, April.
  28. Franke, Nikolaus & Hippel, Eric von, 2003. "Satisfying heterogeneous user needs via innovation toolkits: the case of Apache security software," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1199-1215, July.
  29. Franke, Nikolaus & Shah, Sonali, 2003. "How communities support innovative activities: an exploration of assistance and sharing among end-users," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 157-178, January.
  30. Mansfield, Edwin & Wagner, Samuel, 1975. "Organizational and Strategic Factors Associated with Probabilities of Success in Industrial R & D," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 179-98, April.
  31. Sattinger, Michael, 1984. "Value of an Additional Firm in Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 321-32, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4063. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.