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Pros and Cons of Backing Winners in Innovation Policy

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  • Jo, Seung-gyu
  • den Butter, Frank A. G.

Abstract

In the economics profession there is a fierce debate whether industrial and innovation policy should be targeted to specific sectors or firms. This paper discusses the welfare effects of such targeted policies in a third-market international trade model under imperfect competition. A theoretical case for picking winners through a preferential innovation policy is discussed, which is shown to hold without evoking retaliation from foreign competitors. However, in practice information uncertainties remain a concern. The question whether in this case ‘backing winners’ is a wise policy option depends on the characteristics of the information asymmetries and on the extent the government is able to design selection procedures in a way to minimize the transaction costs that may be caused from the market participants’ opportunistic behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Jo, Seung-gyu & den Butter, Frank A. G., 2009. "Pros and Cons of Backing Winners in Innovation Policy," MPRA Paper 17658, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17658
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Neary, J. Peter, 1994. "Cost asymmetries in international subsidy games: Should governments help winners or losers?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3-4), pages 197-218, November.
    2. Neary, J Peter & O'Sullivan, Paul, 1999. " Beat 'Em or Join 'Em? Export Subsidies versus International Research Joint Ventures in Oligopolistic Markets," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 577-596, December.
    3. James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1983. "Strategic Commitment with R&D: The Symmetric Case," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 225-235, Spring.
    4. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1986. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 383-406.
    5. Qui, Larry D., 1994. "Optimal strategic trade policy under asymmetric information," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3-4), pages 333-354, May.
    6. Bas Jacobs & Jules Theeuwes, 2005. "Innovation in the Netherlands: the Market Falters and the Government Fails," De Economist, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 107-124, December.
    7. Bergstrom, Theodore C. & Varian, Hal R., 1985. "Two remarks on Cournot equilibria," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 5-8.
    8. Neary, J.P., 1999. "R&D in Developing Countries: What Should Governments Do?," Papers 99/27, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
    9. Kujal Praveen & Ruiz Juan M., 2007. "Cost Effectiveness of R&D and Strategic Trade Policy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-35, April.
    10. Yordying Supasri & Makoto Tawada, 2007. "Endogenous Timing in a Strategic Trade Policy Game: A Two-Country Oligopoly Model with Multiple Firms," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 275-290, May.
    11. Gruenspecht, Howard K., 1988. "Export subsidies for differentiated products," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3-4), pages 331-344, May.
    12. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
    13. Greg Shaffer & Stephen W. Salant, 1999. "Unequal Treatment of Identical Agents in Cournot Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 585-604, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation policy; R&D subsidies; strategic trade policy; asymmetric information; spill-over effects;

    JEL classification:

    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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