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Monopoly and the Incentive to Innovate When Adoption Involves Switchover Disruptions

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  • Thomas J. Holmes
  • David K. Levine
  • James A. Schmitz, Jr.

Abstract

When considering the incentive of a monopolist to adopt an innovation, the textbook model assumes that it can instantaneously and seamlessly introduce the new technology. In fact, firms often face major problems in integrating new technologies. In some cases, firms have to (temporarily) produce at levels substantially below capacity upon adoption. We call such phenomena switchover disruptions, and present extensive evidence on them. If firms face switchover disruptions, then they may temporarily lose some unit sales upon adoption. If the firm loses unit sales, then a cost of adoption is the foregone rents on the sales of those units. Hence, greater market power will mean higher prices on those lost units of output, and hence a reduced incentive to innovate. We introduce switchover disruptions into some standard models in the literature, show they can overturn some famous results, and then show they can help explain evidence that firms in more competitive environments are more likely to adopt technologies and increase productivity.

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  • Thomas J. Holmes & David K. Levine & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 2008. "Monopoly and the Incentive to Innovate When Adoption Involves Switchover Disruptions," NBER Working Papers 13864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13864
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    Cited by:

    1. Shawn Klimek & James Schmitz & Timothy Dunne, 2010. "Does Foreign Competition Spur Productivity? Evidence From Post WWII U.S. Cement Manufacturing," 2010 Meeting Papers 805, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2015. "Competition, work rules and productivity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 136-149.
    3. Jeremy Greenwood & David Weiss, 2018. "Mining Surplus: Modeling James A. Schmitz'S Link Between Competition And Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(3), pages 1015-1034, August.
    4. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    5. Erik Brynjolfsson & Daniel Rock & Chad Syverson, 2018. "Artificial Intelligence and the Modern Productivity Paradox: A Clash of Expectations and Statistics," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: An Agenda National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Timothy Dunne & Shawn Klimek & James Schmitz, Jr., 2010. "Competition and Productivity: Evidence from the Post WWII U.S. Cement Industry," Working Papers 10-29, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. Carl Shapiro, 2011. "Competition and Innovation: Did Arrow Hit the Bull's Eye?," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 361-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Nicholas Bloom & Mirko Draca & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Trade Induced Technical Change? The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation, IT and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(1), pages 87-117.
    9. Pérez, Carlos J. & Ponce, Carlos J., 2015. "Disruption costs, learning by doing, and technology adoption," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 64-75.
    10. Erdal Yalcin & Davide Sala, 2014. "Uncertain Productivity Growth and the Choice between FDI and Export," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 189-208, February.
    11. Markus Poschke & Alain Gabler, 2011. "Growth through Experimentation," 2011 Meeting Papers 643, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:794-805 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Davide Castellani & Giorgia Giovannetti, 2010. "Productivity and the international firm: dissecting heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 25-42.
    14. Gemmell, Norman & Kneller, Richard & McGowan, Danny & Sanz, Ismael & Sanz-Sanz, José F., 2013. "Corporate Taxation and Productivity Catch-Up: Evidence from European firms," Working Paper Series 2705, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
    15. Alain Gabler & Markus Poschke, 2013. "Experimentation by Firms, Distortions, and Aggregate Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 26-38, January.
    16. Sanghamitra Das & Kala M. Krishna & Sergey Lychagin & Rohini Somanathan, 2011. "Lifting the Veil: The Face of TFP in an Indian Rail Mill," CESifo Working Paper Series 3515, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Lei Fang, 2017. "Entry Barriers, Competition, And Technology Adoption," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(2), pages 794-805, April.
    18. Carlos J.Pérez & Carlos J.Ponce, 2013. "Disruption costs and the choice of technology," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv292, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
    19. Dan Andrews & Chiara Criscuolo, 2013. "Knowledge-Based Capital, Innovation and Resource Allocation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1046, OECD Publishing.
    20. Muge Adalet McGowan & Dan Andrews & Valentine Millot, 2017. "Insolvency Regimes, Technology Diffusion and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Firms in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1425, OECD Publishing.

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    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies

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