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Innovation and the Emergence of Market Dominance


Athey, Susan; Schmutzler, Armin (1999). Innovation and the Emergence of Market Dominance. Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute No. 9906, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This paper analyzes a model of oligopolistic competition with ongoing investment. It incorporates the following models as special cases: incremental investment, patent races, learning-by-doing, and network externalities. We investigate circumstances under which a firm with low costs or high quality will extend its initial lead through further cost-reducing or quality-improving investments. In many commonly-studied oligopoly games, such investments are strategic substitutes. We derive a new comparative statics result that applies to games with strategic substitutes, and we use the result to derive conditions under which leading firms invest more than lagging firms. We show that the conditions are satisfied in a variety of commonly-studied oligopoly models. We also highlight plausible countervailing effects from two distinct sources. First, leading firms may find it more costly than others to achieve the same increment to their state. This force is particularly salient inmany models of patentn races, where firms make research investments in an attempt to find a new technology that delivers a given level of cost or quality. Second, countervailing effects may arise in dynamic games with more than two firms are sufficiently patient.

This paper analyzes a model of oligopolistic competition with ongoing investment. It incorporates the following models as special cases: incremental investment, patent races, learning-by-doing, and network externalities. We investigate circumstances under which a firm with low costs or high quality will extend its initial lead through further cost-reducing or quality-improving investments. In many commonly-studied oligopoly games, such investments are strategic substitutes. We derive a new comparative statics result that applies to games with strategic substitutes, and we use the result to derive conditions under which leading firms invest more than lagging firms. We show that the conditions are satisfied in a variety of commonly-studied oligopoly models. We also highlight plausible countervailing effects from two distinct sources. First, leading firms may find it more costly than others to achieve the same increment to their state. This force is particularly salient inmany models of patentn races, where firms make research investments in an attempt to find a new technology that delivers a given level of cost or quality. Second, countervailing effects may arise in dynamic games with more than two firms are sufficiently patient.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Socioeconomic Institute (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:L11, L13, L41, O30
Language:English
Date:October 1999
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 19:45
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:09
Series Name:Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-51854

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