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The impact of competition on technology adoption: an apples-to-PCs analysis

  • Adam Copeland
  • Adam Hale Shapiro

We study the effect of market structure on a personal computer manufacturer’s decision to adopt new technology. This industry is unusual because there exist two horizontally segmented retail markets with different degrees of competition: the IBM-compatible (or PC) platform and the Apple platform. We first document that, relative to Apple, producers of PCs typically have more frequent technology adoption, shorter product cycles, and steeper price declines over the product cycle. We then develop a parsimonious vintage-capital model that matches the prices and sales of PC and Apple products. The model predicts that competition is the key driver of the rate at which technology is adopted.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 462.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:462
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  1. Borenstein, Severin & Rose, Nancy L, 1994. "Competition and Price Dispersion in the U.S. Airline Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 653-83, August.
  2. Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Aamir Hashmi, 2007. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Dynamic Analysis of the Global Automobile Industry," 2007 Meeting Papers 362, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Hashmi, Aamir Rafique & Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2012. "The Relationship between Market Structure and Innovation in Industry Equilibrium: A Case Study of the Global Automobile Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 8783, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Timothy Erickson & Ariel Pakes, 2008. "An Experimental Component Index for the CPI: From Annual Computer Data to Monthly Data on Other Goods," NBER Working Papers 14368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728, May.
  6. Ana Aizcorbe, 2005. "Moore's Law, Competition, and Intel's Productivity in the Mid-1990s," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 305-308, May.
  7. Brett Gordon & Ronald Goettler, 2010. "Does AMD spur Intel to innovate more?," 2010 Meeting Papers 151, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Ana Aizcorbe & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "Moore's Law and the Semiconductor Industry: A Vintage Model," Industrial Organization 0412008, EconWPA.
  9. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2009. "Does Competition Reduce Price Dispersion? New Evidence from the Airline Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37, 02.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-26, June.
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