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Innovation and the Emergence of Market Dominance

  • Susan Athey
  • Armin Schmutzler

This paper analyzes a model of oligopolistic competition with ongoing investment. It incorporates the following models as special cases: incremental investment, patent races, learning-by-doing, and network externalities. We investigate circumstances under which a firm with low costs or high quality will extend its initial lead through further cost-reducing or quality-improving investments. In many commonly-studied oligopoly games, such investments are strategic substitutes. We derive a new comparative statics result that applies to games with strategic substitutes, and we use the result to derive conditions under which leading firms invest more than lagging firms. We show that the conditions are satisfied in a variety of commonly-studied oligopoly models. We also highlight plausible countervailing effects from two distinct sources. First, leading firms may find it more costly than others to achieve the same increment to their state. This force is particularly salient inmany models of patentn races, where firms make research investments in an attempt to find a new technology that delivers a given level of cost or quality. Second, countervailing effects may arise in dynamic games with more than two firms are sufficiently patient.

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Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 99-18.

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Date of creation: Oct 1999
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Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:99-18
Contact details of provider: Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
Phone: (617) 253-3361
Fax: (617) 253-1330
Web page: http://econ-www.mit.edu/

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  1. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 1994. "The sensitivity of strategic and corrective R&D policy in oligopolistic industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 133-150, February.
  2. Kyle Bagwell, 1993. "Dynamic Retail Price and Investment Competition," Discussion Papers 1115, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1985. "Installed Base and Compatibility With Implications for Product Preannouncements," Working papers 385, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Reinganum, Jennifer R., . "Innovation and Industry Evolution," Working Papers 426, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-66, May.
  6. 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.
  7. Chaim Fershtman & Kenneth L Judd, 1984. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," Discussion Papers 642, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Novshek, William, 1985. "On the Existence of Cournot Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 85-98, January.
  9. Luis Cabral, 2000. "Increasing Dominance With No Efficiency Effect," Working Papers 00-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  10. Budd, Christopher & Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1993. "A Model of the Evolution of Duopoly: Does the Asymmetry between Firms Tend to Increase or Decrease?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 543-73, July.
  11. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-83, June.
  12. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521424585 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Amir, Rabah, 1996. "Cournot Oligopoly and the Theory of Supermodular Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 132-148, August.
  14. Loury, Glenn C, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410, August.
  15. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  16. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
  17. Susan Athey & Armin Schmutzler, 1995. "Product and Process Flexibility in an Innovative Environment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 557-574, Winter.
  18. Cabral, Luis M B & Riordan, Michael H, 1994. "The Learning Curve, Market Dominance, and Predatory Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1115-40, September.
  19. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
  20. Uri Ronnen, 1991. "Minimum Quality Standards, Fixed Costs, and Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 490-504, Winter.
  21. Vives, Xavier, 1990. "Nash equilibrium with strategic complementarities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 305-321.
  22. 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.
  23. Beath, John & Katsoulacos, Yannis & Ulph, David, 1987. "Sequential Product Innovation and Industry Evolution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388a), pages 32-43, Supplemen.
  24. James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1984. "Export Subsidies and International Market Share Rivalry," NBER Working Papers 1464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
  26. Athey, S., 1996. "Characterizing Properties of Stochastic Objective Functions," Working papers 96-1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  27. Bagwell, Kyle & Ramey, Garey, 1994. "Coordination Economies, Advertising, and Search Behavior in Retail Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 498-517, June.
  28. 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.
  29. Flaherty, M Therese, 1980. "Industry Structure and Cost-Reducing Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1187-1209, July.
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