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Competitive Experimentation with Private Information

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Abstract

We study a winner-take-all R&D race where firms are privately informed about the uncertain arrival rate of the invention. Due to the interdependent-value nature of the problem, the equilibrium displays a strong herding effect that distinguishes our framework from war-of-attrition models. Nonetheless, equilibrium expenditure in R&D is sub-optimal when the planner is sufficiently impatient. Pessimistic firms prematurely exit the race, so that the expected discounted amount of R&D activity is inefficiently low. This result stands in contrast to the overinvestment in research that is typical of winner-take-all R&D races without private information. We conclude that secrecy in R&D inefficiently slows down the pace of innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Guiseppe Moscarini & Francesco Squintani, 2004. "Competitive Experimentation with Private Information," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1489, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1489 Note: CFP 1296
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    Cited by:

    1. Francis Bloch & Simona Fabrizi & Steffen Lippert, 2015. "Learning and collusion in new markets with uncertain entry costs," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 58(2), pages 273-303, February.
    2. Rady, Sven & Keller, Godfrey, 2010. "Strategic experimentation with Poisson bandits," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society.
    3. Francisco Ruiz-Aliseda & Jianjun Wu, 2012. "Irreversible Investment in Stochastically Cyclical Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 801-847, September.
    4. Dinah Rosenberg & Eilon Solan & Nicolas Vieille, 2004. "Timing Games with Informational Externalities," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000704, David K. Levine.
    5. Rosenberg, Dinah & Salomon, Antoine & Vieille, Nicolas, 2013. "On games of strategic experimentation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 31-51.
    6. Dinah Rosenberg & Eilon Solan & Nicolas Vieille, 2007. "Social Learning in One-Arm Bandit Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 1591-1611.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Ufuk Akcigit, 2006. "State-Dependent Intellectual Property Rights Policy," NBER Working Papers 12775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Squintani, Francesco, 2010. "Competitive experimentation with private information: The survivor's curse," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 639-660, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    R&D; experimentation; innovation; private information; herding;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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