Creator: Holmes, Thomas J., Levine, David K., and Schmitz, James Andrew Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 402 Abstract:
Arrow (1962) argued that since a monopoly restricts output relative to a competitive industry, it would be less willing to pay a fixed cost to adopt a new technology. Arrow’s idea has been challenged and critiques have shown that under different assumptions, increases in competition lead to less innovation. We develop a new theory of why a monopolistic industry innovates less than a competitive industry. The key is that firms often face major problems in integrating new technologies. In some cases, upon adoption of technology, firms must temporarily reduce output. We call such problems switchover disruptions. If firms face switchover disruptions, then a cost of adoption is the forgone rents on the sales of lost or delayed production, and these opportunity costs are larger the higher the price on those lost units. In particular, with greater monopoly power, the greater the forgone rents. This idea has significant consequences since if we add switchover disruptions to standard models, then the critiques of Arrow lose their force: competition again leads to greater adoption. In addition, we show that our model helps explain the accumulating evidence that competition leads to greater adoption (whereas the standard models cannot).
Fach: D42 - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: Monopoly, O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes, D21 - Firm Behavior: Theory, O32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D, L12 - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies, and L14 - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation; Networks
Creator: Boldrin, Michele and Levine, David K. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 347 Abstract:
Innovations and their adoption are the keys to growth and development. Innovations are less socially useful, but more profitable for the innovator, when they are adopted slowly and the innovator remains a monopolist. For this reason, rent-seeking, both public and private, plays an important role in determining the social usefulness of innovations. This paper examines the political economy of intellectual property, analyzing the trade-off between private and public rent-seeking. While it is true in principle that public rent-seeking may be a substitute for private rent-seeking, it is not true that this results always either in less private rent-seeking or in a welfare improvement. When the public sector itself is selfish and behaves rationally, we may experience the worst of public and private rent-seeking together.
Stichwort: Rent seeking, Trade secrecy, Intellectual property, Patent, and Innovation Fach: D42 - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: Monopoly and D62 - Externalities