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Optimal R&D Subsidies with Heterogeneous Firms in a Dynamic Setting

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher A. Laincz
  • Joshua D. Hall

Abstract

When firms engaged in R&D are observably heterogenous (in size) and policymakers are able to condition policy on the observed heterogeneity, what is the optimal policy? This paper starts with a static two-stage duopoly model of R&D competition with uncertainty and finds it welfare enhancing to subsidize the larger firms, with no subsidies for (or taxes on) the smaller firm (extending existing results, Lahiri and Ono, 1999). This result follows because marginal cost reductions by the largest firm have larger net effects on consumer and producer surplus. The policymaker's goal is effectively to minimize the average cost of production. However, when we move to a dynamic setting, the optimal policy is less clear. When firms compete repeatedly, the degree of competition becomes an endogenous variable over the in finite horizon. The optimal policy depends on the nature of long-run competition. In some situations, the optimal policy remains the same, subsidize the larger rm. However, in other scenarios, the policymaker optimally chooses to subsidize the smaller firm more heavily to promote more intense competition which lowers the long-run deadweight loss and long run costs through increased R&D competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher A. Laincz & Joshua D. Hall, 2012. "Optimal R&D Subsidies with Heterogeneous Firms in a Dynamic Setting," DEGIT Conference Papers c017_040, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  • Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c017_040
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    File URL: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_17/C017_040.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    2. Christopher Budd & Christopher Harris & John Vickers, 1993. "A Model of the Evolution of Duopoly: Does the Asymmetry between Firms Tend to Increase or Decrease?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 543-573.
    3. Minoru Kitahara & Toshihiro Matsumura, 2006. "Realized Cost-Based Subsidies For Strategic R&D Investments With "Ex Ante" And "Ex Post" Asymmetries," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(3), pages 438-448.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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