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Competition, product and process innovation: an empirical analysis


  • Carlos D. Santos

    () (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)


Competition has long been regarded as productivity enhancing. Understanding the mechanism by which competition affects innovation and productivity is therefore an important topic for economic policy. The main contribution of this paper is to disentangle the relationship between competition and two sides of innovation: product and process. I write down a model and discuss the conditions under which we can identify the causal mechanism. Overall I find that competition, measured by the number of competitors or market shares, has negative effects on product innovation and no effects on process innovation. The explanation is very simple. By shifting demand, competition directly changes the optimality condition for product but not for process innovation. Thus, competition has no direct effects on process innovations or, as a consequence, productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos D. Santos, 2010. "Competition, product and process innovation: an empirical analysis," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-26, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2010-26

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cuberes, David & Dougan, William, 2009. "How Endogenous Is Money? Evidence from a New Microeconomic Estimate," MPRA Paper 17744, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Luis J. Hall, 2010. "Differentiated social interactions in the US schooling race gap," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-17, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    3. Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana, 2009. "Anthropometry and Socioeconomics in the Couple: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 2009-22, FEDEA.
    4. José J. Sempere Monerris & Rafael Moner Colonques & Amparo Urbano Salvador, 2010. "Trade liberalization in vertically related markets," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    5. Andres, Luis & Cuberes, David & Diouf, Mame Astou & Serebrisky, Tomas, 2007. "Diffusion of the internet : a cross-country analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4420, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Peneder & Martin Woerter, 2014. "Competition, R&D and innovation: testing the inverted-U in a simultaneous system," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 653-687, July.

    More about this item


    competition; innovation; R&D; product innovation; process innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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