Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Stepwise Innovation by an Oligopoly

Richard Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley, Christian Riis, Norwegian Business School, and Erlend S. Riis, University of California, Berkeley investigate Stepwise Innovation by an Oligopoly.

ABSTRACT: Stepwise models of technological progress described by Philippe Aghion and his co-authors (1997, 2001, 2005) capture the incentives of firms to innovate in order to escape competition and the disincentives from sharing profits with other technological leaders. The models yield intuitively appealing predictions about the effects of competition on innovation, but they are limited to competition in duopolies. This paper extends the models to oligopolies and shows that the predictions of the effects of competition on innovation from the duopoly models do not generalize to oligopolies.

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