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Invention under uncertainty and the threat of ex post entry

  • David A. Miller


This paper proposes a theoretical framework for studying the invention of new products when demand is uncertain. In this framework, under general conditions, the threat of ex post entry by a competitor can deter invention ex ante. Asymmetric market power in the ex post market exacerbates the problem. The implications of these general results are examined in a series of examples that represent important markets in the computer industry. The first is a model that shows how an operating system monopolist, by its mere presence, can deter the invention of complements, to its own detriment as well as that of society. The implications of policies such as patent protection, price regulation, and mandatory divestiture are considered. Three additional examples consider the ability of a monopolist in one market to commit to bundling an unrelated product, a pair of horizontally differentiated firms that can add a new feature to their products, and a platform leader that can be challenged in its base market by the supplier of a complementary product.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0510001.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 06 Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0510001
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 55
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