This paper proposes a model in the spirit of Aghion et al. (2005) that encompasses the magnitude of the impact of competition on R&D according to the cost of the innovation. The effect of competition on R&D is an inverted U-shape. However, the shape is flatter and competition policy is therefore less relevant for innovation when innovations are relatively costly. Intuitively, if innovations are costly for a firm, competitive shocks have to be significant to alter its innovation decisions. Empirical investigations using a unique panel dataset from the Banque de France show that an inverted U-shaped relationship can be clearly evidenced for the largest firms, but the curve becomes flatter when the relative cost of R&D increases. For large costs, the relationship even vanishes. Consequently, in sectors in which innovations are costly, policy changes have to be on a very large scale for an impact to be expected; at the extreme end, in certain sectors, the curve is so at that competition policy is not an appropriate tool for boosting the research effort of firms.
Philippe Askenazy, Christophe Cahn and Delphine Irac
Classification JEL : L51, O31
Keywords : Competition, R&D, Innovation.
Updated on: 06/12/2018 10:58