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Optimal R&D Subsidies with Heterogeneous Firms in a Dynamic Setting

  • Hall, Joshua

    (University of Tampa)

  • Laincz, Christopher

    ()

    (Department of Economics & International Business LeBow College of Business Drexel University)

When firms engaged in R&D are observably heterogeneous (in size) and policymakers are able to condition policy on the observed heterogeneity, what is the optimal policy? This paper starts with a static two-stage duopoly model of R&D competition with uncertainty and finds it welfare enhancing to subsidize the larger firms, with no subsidies for (or taxes on) the smaller firm (extending existing results, Lahiri and Ono, 1999). This result follows because marginal cost reductions by the largest firm have larger net effects on consumer and producer surplus. The policymaker's goal is effectively to minimize the average cost of production. However, when we move to a dynamic setting, the optimal policy is less clear. When firms compete repeatedly, the degree of competition becomes an endogenous variable over the infinite horizon. The optimal policy depends on the nature of long-run competition. In some situations, the optimal policy remains the same, subsidize the larger firm. However, in other scenarios, the policymaker optimally chooses to subsidize the smaller firm more heavily to promote more intense competition which lowers the long-run deadweight loss and long run costs through increased R&D competition.

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File URL: http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/162210677/RePEc/drx/wpaper/LeBow%20College%20of%20Business%20Working%20Paper%202012-13.pdf
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Paper provided by LeBow College of Business, Drexel University in its series School of Economics Working Paper Series with number 2012-13.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 26 Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:drxlwp:2012_013
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.lebow.drexel.edu/

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  1. Minjae Song, 2011. "A Dynamic Analysis Of Cooperative Research In The Semiconductor Industry," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1157-1177, November.
  2. Christopher A. Laincz & Ana Rodrigues, 2006. "The Impact of Cost Reducing R\&D Spillovers on the Ergodic Distribution of Market Structures," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 307, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Doraszelski, Ulrich & Satterthwaite, Mark, 2007. "Computable Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: Existence, Purification, and Multiplicity," CEPR Discussion Papers 6212, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  5. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  6. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  7. Christopher Laincz, 2009. "R&D subsidies in a model of growth with dynamic market structure," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(5), pages 643-673, October.
  8. d'Aspremont, Claude & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in Duopoly with Spillovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1133-37, December.
  9. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "Strategic Commitment with R&D: The Symmetric Case," Working Papers 516, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. Richard C. Levin & Peter C. Reiss, 1988. "Cost-Reducing and Demand-Creating R&D with Spillovers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 538-556, Winter.
  11. 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.
  12. Lahiri, Sajal & Ono, Yoshiyasu, 1988. "Helping Minor Firms Reduces Welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1199-1202, December.
  13. Minoru Kitahara & Toshihiro Matsumura, 2006. "Realized Cost-Based Subsidies For Strategic R&D Investments With "Ex Ante" And "Ex Post" Asymmetries," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(3), pages 438-448.
  14. Christopher A. Laincz, 2002. "Market Structure and Endogenous Productivity Growth," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 112, Society for Computational Economics.
  15. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Jeroen Hinloopen, 2000. "More on subsidizing cooperative and noncooperative R&D in duopoly with spillovers," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 295-308, October.
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