nep-ind New Economics Papers
on Industrial Organization
Issue of 2005‒06‒27
three papers chosen by
Kwang Soo Cheong
Johns Hopkins University

  1. Partner Selection in R&D Cooperation By Gamal Atallah
  2. Switching Costs, Consumers' Heterogeneity and Price Discrimination in the Mobile Communications Industry By Nicoletta Corrocher; Lorenzo Zirulia
  3. Pricing and matching under duopoly with imperfect buyer mobility By Massimo A. De Francesco

  1. By: Gamal Atallah
    Abstract: In this paper we extend the R&D cooperation model to asymmetric firms, focusing on the incentives for cooperating with firms characterized by different levels of efficiency. Three firms differentiated by their cost levels invest in cost-reducing R&D before competing in output. Firms may cooperate in R&D, which implies both R&D coordination and perfect information sharing. It is found that firms’ preferences over whom to cooperate with depend on spillovers and on cost differences between firms. With low (high) spillovers, a firm prefers to cooperate with the most (least) efficient among the remaining firms. As the cost differential between firms increases, efficient (inefficient) firms prefer to cooperate with the most (least) efficient firm more often. For very high spillovers, a firm prefers to be excluded from R&D cooperation. The equilibrium configuration is that the most efficient firms cooperate for low spillovers, while all firms cooperate for intermediate spillovers. For high spillovers, the equilibrium is for all firms to cooperate when the cost differential is sufficiently low, but depends on the bargaining mechanism when the cost differential is high. The model constitutes a generalization of the standard R&D model with symmetric firms. <P>Ce papier analyse les incitations à la coopération technologique entre des firmes différenciées par leur niveau d’efficacité. Trois firmes dotées de coûts de production différents investissent dans la R&D visant à réduire leurs coûts de production, avant de se concurrencer en quantités. Les firmes peuvent coopérer en R&D, ce qui implique la coordination des investissements en R&D et le partage d’information. Il est démontré que les préférences quant au choix du partenaire dépendent des externalités de recherche et du différentiel de coûts. Lorsque les externalités de recherche sont faibles (élevées), une firme préfère coopérer avec le partenaire le plus (moins) efficace qui est disponible. À mesure que le différentiel de coûts augmente, les firmes efficaces (inefficaces) préfèrent coopérer avec les partenaires les plus (moins) efficaces plus souvent. Pour des niveaux d’externalités très élevés, une firme préfère être exclue de la coopération en R&D. La configuration d’équilibre est que les firmes les plus efficaces coopèrent lorsque les externalités sont faibles, alors que toutes les firmes coopèrent pour des niveaux intermédiaires des externalités. Lorsque les externalités sont élevées, l’équilibre est que toutes les firmes coopèrent lorsque le différentiel de coûts est suffisamment faible, mais dépend de la structure de négociation lorsque ce différentiel est élevé. Le modèle constitue une généralisation du modèle de concurrence en R&D avec des firmes symétriques.
    Keywords: asymmetric firms, R&D cooperation, R&D spillovers, research joint ventures, coopération en R&D, consortiums de recherche, firmes asymétriques, externalités de recherche
    JEL: L13 O33
    Date: 2005–06–01
  2. By: Nicoletta Corrocher (CESPRI, Università Bocconi, Milano); Lorenzo Zirulia (CESPRI, Università Bocconi, Milano)
    Abstract: In this paper we develop a formal model that captures some basic features of competition in the mobile communications service industry. In a model of oligopolistic competition with price discrimination and switching costs, we study the role of firms’ installed base of consumers in providing the incentives to offer contracts for a new class of consumers with a lower willingness to pay. The model predicts that there exists an inverse relationship between the share of the leader in the market of consumers with high willingness to pay and its share in the market of consumers with low willingness to pay. This implies that market shares converge. If firms collude in the introduction of new contracts, convergence is milder. This result is consistent with the empirical evidence related to the mobile communications industry in different European countries, where we observe a convergence in market shares driven by the superior ability of followers to acquire new customers, who typically have lower willingness to pay as compared with early adopters.
    Keywords: Switching costs; Price discrimination; Mobile communications
    JEL: L13 L96
    Date: 2005–05
  3. By: Massimo A. De Francesco
    Abstract: Recent contributions have explored how lack of buyer mobility affects pricing. For example, Burdett, Shi, and Wright (2001) envisage a two-stage game where, once prices are set by the firms, the buyers play a static game by choosing independently which firm to visit. We incorporate imperfect mobility in a duopolistic pricing game where the buyers are involved into a multi-stage game. The firms are shown to have an incentive to give service priority to loyal customers. Under this rationing rule, equilibrium prices converge to their value under perfect buyer mobility as the number of stages of the buyer game increases
    Keywords: Bertrand competition, matching, imperfect mobility, sequential equilibrium, buyerloyalty
    JEL: D43 L13
    Date: 2004–11

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