Intensity of competition and the choice between product and process innovation

Giacomo Bonanno
University of California, Davis
Two questions are examined within a model of vertical differentiation. The first is whether cost-reducing innovations are more likely to be observed in regimes of more intense or less intense competition. Following Delbono and Denicolo (1990) and Bester and Petrakis (1993) we compare two identical industries that differ only in the regime of competition: Bertrand versus Cournot. Since Cournot competition leads to lower output and higher prices, it can be thought of as a regime of less intense competition. We find that the increase in profits associated with any given cost reduction is higher in the case of Cournot competition than in the case of Bertrand competition. Thus there are cost-reducing innovations that would be pursued under Cournot competition but not under Bertrand competition
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