IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

When Market Competition Benefits Firms


  • Junichiro Ishida

    (Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP),Osaka University)

  • Toshihiro Matsumura

    (Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo)

  • Noriaki Matsushima

    (Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University)


A conventional wisdom in economics posits that more intense market competition, measured in almost any way, reduces firm profit. In this paper, we challenge this conventional wisdom in a simple Cournot model with strategic R&D investments wherein an efficient firm (dominant firm) competes against less efficient firms (fringe firms). We find that an increase in the number of fringe firms can stimulate R&D by the dominant firm, while it always reduces R&D by each of the fringe firms. More importantly, this force can be strong enough to compensate for the loss that arises from more intense market competition: the dominant firm's profit may indeed increase with the number of fringe firms, quite contrary to the conventional wisdom. An implication of this result is far-reaching, as it gives dominant firms to help, rather than harm, fringe competitors. We relate this implication to a practice know as open knowledge disclosure, especially Ford's strategy of disclosing its know-how publicly and extensively at the beginning of the 20th century.

Suggested Citation

  • Junichiro Ishida & Toshihiro Matsumura & Noriaki Matsushima, 2008. "When Market Competition Benefits Firms," OSIPP Discussion Paper 08E011, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:osp:wpaper:08e011

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Casson, Mark, 2005. "Entrepreneurship and the theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 327-348, October.
    2. Welch, F, 1970. "Education in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 35-59, Jan.-Feb..
    3. Katsuya Takii, 2011. "Entrepreneurial Efficiency: Theory," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 62(2), pages 196-214, June.
    4. Takii, Katsuya, 2008. "Fiscal policy and entrepreneurship," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 592-608, March.
    5. David Thesmar & Mathias Thoenig, 2000. "Creative Destruction and Firm Organization Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1201-1237.
    6. Katsuya Takii, 2004. "The Value of Adaptability," Industrial Organization 0406004, EconWPA.
    7. Scott Shane, 2000. "Prior Knowledge and the Discovery of Entrepreneurial Opportunities," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 11(4), pages 448-469, August.
    8. Katsuya Takii, 2003. "Prediction Ability," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 80-98, January.
    9. Mills, David E & Schumann, Laurence, 1985. "Industry Structure with Fluctuating Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 758-767, September.
    10. Schumpeter, Joseph A., 1947. "The Creative Response in Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 149-159, November.
    11. Israel M. Kirzner, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 60-85, March.
    12. Marcus Asplund & Volker Nocke, 2003. "Firm Turnover in Imperfectly Competitive Markets," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    13. Marcus Asplund & Volker Nocke, 2006. "Firm Turnover in Imperfectly Competitive Markets -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(2), pages 295-327.
    14. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-846, September.
    15. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    16. Jose V. Rodriguez Mora & John Hassler, 2000. "Intelligence, Social Mobility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 888-908, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Matsushima, Noriaki & Mizuno, Tomomichi, 2012. "Profit-enhancing competitive pressure in vertically related industries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 142-152.
    2. Kangsik, Choi, 2009. "Privatization, Government's Preference and Unionization Structure: A Mixed Oligopoly Approach," MPRA Paper 13028, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Matsushima Noriaki & Sato Yasuhiro & Yamamoto Kazuhiro, 2013. "Horizontal Mergers, Firm Heterogeneity, and R&D Investments," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 959-990, August.

    More about this item


    competition; oligopoly; R&D; heterogeneity; entry;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:osp:wpaper:08e011. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Akiko Murashita). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.