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Do government policies that promote competition encourage or discourage new product and process development in low and middle-income countries?

  • Clarke, George R. G.

Previous work has shown that firms in low and middle-income countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that feel greater pressure to innovate from their competitors are more likely to introduce new products and services than firms that donot feel pressure (Carlin and others 2001; World Bank 2004). However, competition also appears to affect innovation in other ways. In particular, firms in these countries that face greater price competition appear to be less likely to innovate than other firms (Carlin and others 2001). The author assesses how competition and trade policy affect these different aspects of competition and, consequently, assesses their net impact on innovation. He finds that reducing tariffs and enacting and enforcing competition laws modestly increases both the pressure that firms feel regarding innovation and the level of price competition in the domestic economy. The net impact that lower tariffs have on new product and process development appears to be negative but small-for the most part the opposing effects cancel out. In contrast, stricter competition laws and better enforcement of those laws appear to increase the likelihood of new product and process development, especially when competition is treated as endogenous to innovation.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3471.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3471
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  1. Wendy Carlin & Steven Fries & Mark Schaffer & Paul Seabright, 2001. "Competition and enterprise performance in transition economies: evidence from a cross-country survey," Working Papers 63, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
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  3. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1999. "Competition, Financial Discipline and Growth," Scholarly Articles 12490416, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  20. Aghion, Philippe, et al, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 467-92, July.
  21. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-93, June.
  22. Jonathan B. Baker, 2003. "The Case for Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 27-50, Fall.
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  24. Harris, Christopher & Howitt, Peter & Vickers, John & Aghion, Philippe, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Scholarly Articles 12375013, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  25. Aghion, Philippe & Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1997. "Competition and growth with step-by-step innovation: An example," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 771-782, April.
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  27. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
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