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Innovative Activity and Sunk Cost

  • Kaplan, T.R.
  • Luski, I.
  • Wettstein, D.

We analyze a patent race where the first innovator receives a time-dependent reward while all firms incur costs. When firms are identical, there is a unique, symmetric, mixed-strategy equilibrium that yields zero expected profits for all firms. Furthermore, the expected innovation time is an increasing function of the number of firms and a decreasing function of the size of the reward. When one firm has a higher reward than another, it is more likely to win. Although similar to an all-pay auction, our approach may yield both similar and qualitatively different behavior.

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Paper provided by Tel Aviv in its series Papers with number 2000-6.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:teavfo:2000-6
Phone: 972-3-640-9255
Fax: 972-3-640-5815
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  1. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Varies, C.G., 1990. "The All-Pay Auction With Complete Information," Papers 9051, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  2. Baye, Michael R. & Morgan, John, 1999. "A folk theorem for one-shot Bertrand games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 59-65, October.
  3. Reinganum, Jennifer R., . "Innovation and Industry Evolution," Working Papers 426, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Todd R. Kaplan & David Wettstein, 2000. "The possibility of mixed-strategy equilibria with constant-returns-to-scale technology under Bertrand competition," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 65-71.
  5. 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.
  6. Osborne, Martin J. & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1983. "Price Competition in a Capacity-Constrained Duopoly," Working Papers 83-08, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Denicolo, Vincenzo, 1996. "Patent Races and Optimal Patent Breadth and Length," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 249-65, September.
  8. Lee, Tom & Wilde, Louis L, 1980. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Reformulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 429-36, March.
  9. Loury, Glenn C, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410, August.
  10. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1983. "Uncertain Innovation and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 741-48, September.
  11. Amann, Erwin & Leininger, Wolfgang, 1996. "Asymmetric All-Pay Auctions with Incomplete Information: The Two-Player Case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18, May.
  12. Vickers, John S, 1986. "The Evolution of Market Structure When There Is a Sequence of Innovations," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(1), pages 1-12, September.
  13. Reinganum, Jennifer F., . "On the Diffusion of New Technology: A Game Theoretic Approach," Working Papers 312, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  14. Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1987. "Racing with Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 1-21, January.
  15. Martin, Stephen, 2001. "Industrial Organization: A European Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297284.
  16. Robert Vossen, 1999. "Market Power, Industrial Concentration and Innovative Activity," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 367-378, December.
  17. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-93, June.
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