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Competition and innovation: an inverted U relationship

  • Philippe Aghion

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Harvard University)

  • Nicholas Bloom

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Richard Blundell

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and IFS and UCL)

  • Rachel Griffith

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and IFS and Manchester)

  • Peter Howitt

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Brown University)

This paper investigates the relationship between product market competition (PMC) and innovation. A Schumpeterian growth model is developed in which firms innovate ѳtep-by-stepҬ and where both technological leaders and their followers engage in R&D activities. In this model, competition may increase the incremental profit from innovating; on the other hand, competition may also reduce innovation incentives for laggards. This model generates four main predictions which we test empirically. First, the relationship between product market competition (PMC) and innovation is an inverted U-shape: the escape competition effect dominates for low initial levels of competition, whereas the Schumpeterian effect dominates at higher levels of competition. Second, the equilibrium degree of technological Ѯeck-and-neckness' among firms should decrease with PMC. Third, the higher the average degree of Ѯeck-and-neckness' in an industry, the steeper the inverted-U relationship between PMC and innovation in that industry. Fourth, firms may innovate more if subject to higher debt-pressure, especially at lower levels of PMC. We confront these four predictions with a new panel data set on UK firms' patenting activity at the US patenting office. The inverted U relationship, the neck and neck, and the debt pressure predictions are found to accord well with observed behavior in the data.

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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W02/04.

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Length: 70 pp
Date of creation: Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:02/04
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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1999. "Competition, Financial Discipline and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2128, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Aghion, Philippe, et al, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 467-92, July.
  3. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Jaffe, Adam & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2001. "Market Value and Patent Citations: A First Look," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8vh1c20f, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. 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.
  5. Stephen Nickell, 1993. "Competition and Corporate Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0182, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Philippe Aghion & Wendy Carlin & Mark Schaffer, 2002. "Competition, Innovation and Growth in Transition: Exploring the Interactions between Policies," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 501, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  7. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 1995. "Dynamic Count Data Models of Technological Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 333-44, March.
  8. Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hassett, Kevin A & Hubbard, R Glenn, 1998. "Are Investment Incentives Blunted by Changes in Prices of Capital Goods?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 103-25, October.
  10. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2000. "Patents, productivity and market value: evidence from a panel of UK firms," IFS Working Papers W00/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Frank Windmeijer, 1999. "Individual effects and dynamics in count data models," IFS Working Papers W99/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Harris, Christopher & Howitt, Peter & Vickers, John & Aghion, Philippe, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Scholarly Articles 12375013, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Ricardo J. Caballero & Adam B. Jaffe, 1993. "How High are the Giants' Shoulders: An Empirical Assessment of Knowledge Spillovers and Creative Destruction in a Model of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1995. "Estimating labour supply responses using tax reforms," IFS Working Papers W95/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & van Reenen, John, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 529-54, July.
  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.
  18. Richard Blundell & James Powell, 2001. "Endogeneity in nonparametric and semiparametric regression models," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/01, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  19. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2002. "Patents, Real Options and Firm Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C97-C116, March.
  20. Oliver D. Hart, 1983. "The Market Mechanism as an Incentive Scheme," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 366-382, Autumn.
  21. Philippe Aghion & Mark Schankerman, 1999. "Competition, entry and the social returns to infrastructure in transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(1), pages 79-101, March.
  22. Chirinko, Robert S. & Fazzari, Steven M. & Meyer, Andrew P., 1999. "How responsive is business capital formation to its user cost?: An exploration with micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 53-80, October.
  23. Aghion, Philippe & Schankerman, Mark, 1999. "Competition, Entry, and the Social Returns to Infrastructure in Transition Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 2052, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Joaquim Oliveira Martins & Stefano Scarpetta & Dirk Pilat, 1996. "Mark-Up Ratios in Manufacturing Industries: Estimates for 14 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 162, OECD Publishing.
  25. Grosfeld, Irena & Tressel, Thierry, 2001. "Competition, Corporate Governance: Substitutes or Complements? Evidence from the Warsaw Stock Exchange," CEPR Discussion Papers 2888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Aghion, Philippe & Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1997. "Competition and growth with step-by-step innovation: An example," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 771-782, April.
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