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International Competition, Growth and Optimal R&D Subsidies

Author

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  • Giammario Impullitti

    () (Economics NYU)

Abstract

In this paper I examine the effects of international technological competition on innovation, growth, and optimal R&D subsidies. I focus on a particular dimension of competition: the share of industries where domestic and foreign research firms compete for innovation. In a version of the fully-endogenous quality-ladder growth model I show that the effect of competition on innovation and growth depends on the specification of the research technology. Secondly, I find that increases in foreign competition trigger a business-stealing effect that reduces income and welfare and, regardless of the innovation effect, raises the optimal domestic R&D subsidy. Intuitively, the higher the threat of international competition the more instrumental innovation subsidies will be in helping domestic incumbent firms to retain their shares of the global market. Thirdly, I perform a quantitative exercise: I first build an empirical index of international technological competition and find that in the OECD countries the share of competitive sectors increased from 35 percent in 1973 to 70 percent in 1989. Then, I use this evidence to evaluate the optimality of the U.S. R&D subsidy response to observed competition in that period. I find a welfare loss of the observed policy, relative to the optimal, ranging between 0.2 and 0.5 percentage points of quality-adjusted per-capita consumption. Finally, I extend the model to account for strategic policy complementarities and show that the positive effect of competition on the optimal subsidy is robust to this set up. In addition, I find that competition increases the benefits from R&D policy cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Giammario Impullitti, 2006. "International Competition, Growth and Optimal R&D Subsidies," 2006 Meeting Papers 739, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:739
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    File URL: http://repec.org/sed2006/up.17877.1140039564.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jones, Charles I & Williams, John C, 2000. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 65-85, March.
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    3. G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), 1995. "Handbook of International Economics," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    4. Guido Cozzi, "undated". "Can Social Norms Affect the International Allocation of Innovation?," Working Papers 2008_02, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    5. Guerrieri, Paolo & Milana, Carlo, 1991. "Technological and Trade Competition in High-Tech Products," UCAIS Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy, Working Paper Series qt9x69f873, UCAIS Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy, UC Berkeley.
    6. Mathias Thoenig & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "A Theory of Defensive Skill-Biased Innovation and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 709-728, June.
    7. Sapir, Andre & Aghion, Philippe & Bertola, Giuseppe & Hellwig, Martin & Pisani-Ferry, Jean & Rosati, Dariusz & Vinals, Jose & Wallace, Helen, 2004. "An Agenda for a Growing Europe: The Sapir Report," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199271498.
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    12. Guido Cozzi & Giammario Impullitti, "undated". "Technology Policy and Wage Inequality," Working Papers 2008_23, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Oct 2006.
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    15. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-93-1 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    international competition; trade and gowth; endogenous technical change; strategic industrial policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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