Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Keith N. Hylton (Boston University) and Haizhen Lin (Indiana University) discuss INNOVATION AND OPTIMAL PUNISHMENT, WITH ANTITRUST APPLICATIONS.
ABSTRACT: This article modifies the optimal punishment analysis by incorporating investment incentives with external benefits. In the models examined, the recommendation that the optimal penalty should internalize the marginal social harm is no longer valid. We focus on antitrust applications. In light of the benefits from innovation, the optimal policy will punish monopolizing firms more leniently than suggested in the standard static model. It may be optimal not to punish the monopolizing firm at all, or to reward the firm rather than punish it. We examine the precise balance between penalty and reward in the optimal punishment scheme.