Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Thursday, August 6, 2009

First mover advantage in a dynamic duopoly with spillover

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Gianluca Femminis (DISCE, Università Cattolica) and Gianmaria Martini (Università di Bergamo) explore First mover advantage in a dynamic duopoly with spillover.

ABSTRACT: We present a dynamic duopoly model of technical innovation where R&D costs decrease exogenously with time, and inter-firm knowledge spillover lowers the second comer's R&D cost. The spillover effect only becomes available after a disclosure lag. These features allow us to identify a new type of equilibrium: the leader delays investment until the R&D cost is low enough that the follower finds it optimal to invest as soon as he can benefit from the spillover. This equilibrium is subgame perfect over a wide range of parameters, and raises several interesting implications. First, in our new equilibrium the time delay between the two R&D investments is realistically short. Second, while the presence of a spillover favors the second mover, this benefit is not enough to rule out a first mover advantage. Indeed, the first mover advantage survives whenever technical progress is sufficiently fast and the disclosure! lag is relatively long. Third, in case of a major innovation our equilibrium implies under--investment, which requires a substantial public intervention in favour of the investment activity.

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