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The literature on R&D races suggests that noncolluding firms invest excessively in R&D. We show that this result depends critically on the winner-take-all assumption. Although rents continue to be dissipated once the winner-take-all assumption is relaxed because firms in general fail to provide the optimal R&D effort, the mechanisms behind this rent dissipation change with the degree of patent protection. We then illustrate how the patent system can be used to elicit the optimal R&D effort.
R&D activities and incentives, together with the pace of the resulting technical progress, have been core issues ever since the pioneering work of Schumpeter (1942) and the consequent debate about the so-called Schumpeterian hypothesis, according to which the higher is the degree of market power enjoyed by a firm, the higher is her incentive to invest in innovation. This debate has received a crucial impulse by Arrow (1962), putting forward convincing argument against the Schumpeterian claim, by pointing out that a firm operating initially under perfect competition should indeed be endowed with the highest possible incentive to strive for an innovation whereby, if successful, she could throw her rivals out of the market and acquire monopoly power over the latter.
This paper aims to explain how the dynamic demand environment influences strategic firm behavior along an industry’s evolutionary path. A conceptual gap concerning the…
This paper aims to explain how the dynamic demand environment influences strategic firm behavior along an industry’s evolutionary path. A conceptual gap concerning the influence of demand-side environmental factors (vis-à-vis changes in technology and policy) on firms’ strategic choices motivates the theory developed herein. The paper’s contribution to the literature on “evolutionary perspective in strategy” also addresses an important gap in the emerging literature on “strategy dynamics”.
The conceptual framework in this paper features a dynamic demand environment that provides the structural context for firms’ strategic choices. It conceptualizes demand-side competence as a mediating firm-specific construct to explain the endogenous relationship between the characteristics of the demand environment and firms’ path dependent demand-side investments.
A review of the literature on evolutionary perspective in strategy reveals an important conceptual gap concerning the structural determinants of dynamic firm behavior. There is no explanation of the endogenous relationship between dynamic demand structure, firms’ dynamic demand-side competence, and temporally heterogeneous strategic choices.
The demand-side explanation of how idiosyncratic firm behavior is endogenously determined, with both structural characteristics (demand structure) and firm competences (demand-side competence), addresses an important conceptual gap. The novelty of the theory developed herein lies in its explication of the effect of dynamic demand environment on the evolution of idiosyncratic strategic firm behavior – entry, investment and exit – along the evolutionary path of an industry. The theory developed herein not only explains the effect of both determinants of idiosyncratic strategic firm behavior – the external industry environment (dynamic market structure) and internal firm environment (dynamic firm competences) – but also explains how the determinants evolve along the industry’s lifecycle.