Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monopoly, Decreasing Returns, and Incentives to Cost-Reducing R&D

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Paolo G. Garella, University of Milan addresses Monopoly, Decreasing Returns, and Incentives to Cost-Reducing R&D.

ABSTRACT: The present paper shows that it is possible to define cost innovations for which a monopolist has a higher incentive to invest than a social planner. This unveils the limits of the general claim, based on Arrow (1959), that a monopoly has a lower incentive to innovate than a social planner and therefore than socially desirable. In particular, exceptions to the rule are shown to arise only under decreasing returns. Further, it follows from the analysis that the direction of the inequality in the comparison of incentives to invest also depends upon the shape of the demand function. Finally, only under a restricted domain of analysis, a rule for determining whether a monopoly has lower or higher incentives to invest than a social planner is derived.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2010/04/monopoly-decreasing-returns-and-incentives-to-costreducing-rd.html

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