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Cooperative and Non-Cooperative R&D Policy in an Economic Union

  • Haaland, Jan I.
  • Kind, Hans Jarle

Should R&D policies within an economic union be centralized or decentralized to each individual country? Do non-cooperative policies - typically implying policy competition between countries - always give rise to too high R&D subsidies in a decentralized policy regime? Should small countries subsidize R&D more than larger countries? To address such questions, we construct a simple model with horizontally differentiated consumer goods, where each firm may invest in quality-improving R&D. Assuming that the goods are produced in different countries within an economic union, we compare non-cooperative and cooperative R&D policies. We show that non-cooperative policies imply too small R&D subsidies for horizontally differentiated goods and too high subsidies for goods that are close substitutes. Furthermore, small, net exporting countries of R&D intensive goods have fewer incentives to subsidize R&D than large countries, resulting in an unwarranted vertical product differentiation between goods produced in different countries. Coordination of R&D policies at the union level helps overcome some of these problems. If only a subset of countries cooperate, however, union welfare may be lower than if there is no R&D cooperation at all.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4185.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4185
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  1. Neary, J.P. & Leahy, D., 1998. "Strategic Trade and Industrial Policy Towards Dynamic Oligopolies," Papers 98/14, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  2. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 2001. "Robust Rules for Industrial Policy in Open Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 2731, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. James A. Brander, 1995. "Strategic Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 5020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 1994. "The sensitivity of strategic and corrective R&D policy in oligopolistic industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 133-150, February.
  5. Jee-Hyeong Park, 2001. "Strategic R&D policy under vertically differentiated oligopoly," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 967-987, November.
  6. d'Aspremont, Claude & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in Duopoly with Spillovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1133-37, December.
  7. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1997. "Public Policy towards R&D in Oligopolistic Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 642-62, September.
  8. Collie, David R., 2000. "State aid in the European Union: The prohibition of subsidies in an integrated market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 867-884, August.
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