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Learning and Technology Adoptions


  • Scholz, Sebastian


This essay studies the optimal timing for a firm to adopt a new process innovation in the presence of learning. A policy that has been implemented by governments throughout the world to reduce the cost level of infant industries with positive externalities, is to either subsidize the research of these technologies or their distribution. This model demonstrates how government interventions can affect the optimal timing for adoption of a new technology. Furthermore this essay makes predictions on how the effects change, when the total quantity that can be produced is fixed; the installations of wind powered energy plants exemplify this point. Depending on whether producer rents, consumer rents or early implementation are more important to the government, the model offers the appropriate tools to attain its objective.

Suggested Citation

  • Scholz, Sebastian, 2010. "Learning and Technology Adoptions," Discussion Papers in Economics 11321, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:11321

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allaz Blaise & Vila Jean-Luc, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, February.
    2. Green, Richard, 2002. "Retail Competition and Electricity Contracts," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 93, Royal Economic Society.
    3. Mahenc, P. & Salanie, F., 2004. "Softening competition through forward trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 282-293, June.
    4. David M. Newbery, 1998. "Competition, Contracts, and Entry in the Electricity Spot Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 726-749, Winter.
    5. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1999. "Measuring Duopoly Power in the British Electricity Spot Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 805-826, September.
    6. MURPHY, Frederic & SMEERS, Yves, 2005. "Forward markets may not decrease market power when capacities are endogenous," CORE Discussion Papers 2005028, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. David M. Newbery, 1995. "Power Markets and Market Power," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 39-66.
    8. Green, Richard, 1997. "Transmission pricing in England and Wales," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 185-193, September.
    9. Blaise Allaz & Jean-Luc Vila, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Post-Print hal-00511806, HAL.
    10. A. Michael Spence, 1977. "Entry, Capacity, Investment and Oligopolistic Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 534-544, Autumn.
    11. Bert Willems, 2004. "Cournot Competition, Financial Option markets and Efficiency," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0414, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    12. Liski, Matti & Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2006. "Forward trading and collusion in oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 212-230, November.
    13. Veronika Grimm & Gregor Zoettl, 2006. "Access to Commitment Devices Reduces Investment Incentives in Oligopoly," Working Paper Series in Economics 25, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    14. James Bushnell, 2007. "Oligopoly equilibria in electricity contract markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 225-245, December.
    15. Powell, Andrew, 1993. "Trading Forward in an Imperfect Market: The Case of Electricity in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 444-453, March.
    16. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
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    More about this item


    Learning; Process Innovation; Optimal Control; Infant industry;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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