nep-ind New Economics Papers
on Industrial Organization
Issue of 2023‒04‒10
six papers chosen by
Kwang Soo Cheong
Johns Hopkins University

  1. Licensing a product innovation in a Cournot industry By Antelo, Manel; Bru, Lluís
  2. The price of cost-effectiveness thresholds By Brekke, Kurt R.; Dalen, Dag Morten; Straume, Odd Rune
  3. Product quality and product compatibility in network industries By Domenico Buccella; Luciano Fanti; Luca Gori
  4. Comparison Shopping: Learning Before Buying From Duopolists By Brian C. Albrecht; Mark Whitmeyer
  5. The Simple Math of Royalties and Drug Competition During the 180-Day Generic Exclusivity Period By Keith M. Drake; Thomas McGuire
  6. Market-based allocation of airport slots: the PAUSE auction mechanism and extensions By Eduardo Cardadeiro; João E. Gata

  1. By: Antelo, Manel; Bru, Lluís
    Abstract: We study how a firm licenses a product improvement innovation to its rival in the final market. Contrary to what happens with fixed-fee licensing or per-unit royalty licensing, pure ad-valorem royalty licensing is optimal but is welfare reducing. On welfare grounds, fixed-fee licensing dominates per-unit royalty agreements, but has the disadvantage that firms sometimes fail to reach an agreement if licensing deals are restricted to feature fixed fees. A simple rule for a second-best optimal policy on technology licensing is proposed.
    Keywords: Product innovation, licensing, Cournot competition, welfare
    JEL: D43 D45
    Date: 2023–01–10
  2. By: Brekke, Kurt R. (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Dalen, Dag Morten (BI Norwegian Business School); Straume, Odd Rune (University of Minho and University of Bergen)
    Abstract: Health systems around world are increasingly adopting cost-effectiveness (CE) analysis to inform decisions about access and reimbursement. We study how CE thresholds imposed by a health plan for granting reimbursement affect drug producers pricing incentives and patients access to new drugs. Analysing a sequential pricing game between an incumbent drug producer and a potential entrant with a new drug, we show that CE thresholds may have adverse effects for payers and patients. A stricter CE threshold may induce the incumbent to switch pricing strategy from entry accommodation to entry deterrence, limiting patients access to the new drug. Otherwise, irrespective of whether entry is deterred or accommodated, a stricter CE threshold is never pro-competitive and may in fact facilitate a collusive outcome with higher prices of both drugs. Compared to a laissez-faire policy, the use of CE thresholds can only increase the surplus of a health plan if it leads to entry deterrence in which the price reduction by the incumbent necessary to deter entry outweighs the health loss to patients not getting access to the new drug.
    Keywords: Pharmaceuticals; Health Plans; Cost-effectiveness analysis; ICER; Therapeutic competition
    JEL: I11 I18 L13 L65
    Date: 2023–03–13
  3. By: Domenico Buccella; Luciano Fanti; Luca Gori
    Abstract: Making use of an appropriate game-theoretic approach, this article develops a two-stage game in a Cournot duopoly in network industries, in which firms strategically choose whether to produce compatible goods. Quality differentiation significantly affects the sub-game perfect Nash equilibrium (SPNE) of the game: (i) the network effect acts differently between low- and high-quality firms depending on their compatibility choice; (ii) the unique SPNE is to produce compatible (resp. incompatible) goods if the network externality is positive (resp. negative); however, this equilibrium can be Pareto inefficient, and the high-quality firm is worse off; (iii) there is room for a side payment from the high- to the low-quality firm to deviate towards incompatibility (resp. compatibility) under positive (resp. negative) network externality. The social welfare outcomes corresponding to the SPNE are also pinpointed.
    Keywords: Network externality, Product compatibility, Cournot duopoly, Quality differential
    JEL: L1 L2 D4
    Date: 2023–03–01
  4. By: Brian C. Albrecht; Mark Whitmeyer
    Abstract: We explore a model of duopolistic competition in which consumers flexibly learn about the fit--both relative and absolute--of each competitor's product. When information is cheap, increasing the cost of information decreases consumer welfare; but when information is expensive, this relationship flips: cheaper information hurts consumers. As information frictions vanish, the limiting equilibrium is ex post efficient, in contrast to the monopoly model studied by Ravid, Roesler, and Szentes (2022).
    Date: 2023–02
  5. By: Keith M. Drake; Thomas McGuire
    Abstract: In agreements settling patent challenges in the drug industry, the plaintiff brand commonly licenses the defendant generic to sell prior to patent expiry. Some agreements require the generic to pay the brand royalties. Despite the superficial flow of profits, royalty terms may function as part of an anticompetitive “reverse payment” made to the generic in exchange for delayed entry. Typically, the brand launches its own authorized generic (AG) during the first-to-file generic’s 180-day exclusivity period so there are two initial generic competitors. A royalty structure that deters the brand’s AG launch reduces the number of entrants to one, conveying net value to the generic and potentially inducing it to delay its entry. Our simple model shows that royalties usually have no place in a brand-generic agreement between rational actors. However, when royalties are conditioned on the brand’s AG launch, a range of royalty rates exists that both conveys net value to the generic and deters the brand from rationally introducing an AG. Declining royalty terms in a brand’s settlement with a first-to-file generic thus raise a red flag that the agreement is a pay-for-delay. Although the numbers are small, empirical analysis based on publicly available materials corroborates this conclusion.
    JEL: D22 D43 K21 L41
    Date: 2023–03
  6. By: Eduardo Cardadeiro; João E. Gata
    Abstract: During the past several months, passenger air transport has been recovering from its significant retraction during the two years Covid pandemics. If the recent significant drop in air traffic due do the Covid pandemics acted as an external mitigating factor to airport traffic congestion in several major airports around the world, with the post-pandemics air traffic recovery it is likely that airport capacity will, once again, fall short of demand and not keep pace with the growth in air traffic. That is why close to two hundred major airports worldwide, most of them in Europe, face capacity constraints and are “coordinated”. Eurocontrol predicts Europe's capacity shortage in 2050 at 500, 000 flights/year in the baseline scenario, which could rise to 2.7 million in an optimistic scenario. The allocation of airport slots in Europe and elsewhere is still ruled by administrative processes, based on the IATA (International Air Transport Association) Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines (WASG), which follow historical precedence and time adjustments of historical slots. Market mechanisms in slot allocation, as an alternative to administrative processes, are still rarely used. Several authors have highlighted the inefficiency of the current airport slot administrative allocation system, based on the IATA’s Guidelines. Several authors have suggested improvements in this administrative system, such as congestion pricing mechanisms and other market mechanisms involving auction procedures. Among the various auction mechanisms, scoring auctions and the PAUSE methodology have been suggested in the literature. In this paper, and following our previous work, we explore and extend the application of the PAUSE auction mechanism with bidding based on a score function for the auctioneer, that includes another variable in addition to the total revenue, where this variable can represent e.g., quality of the service provided. We study the application of this auction mechanism, in a gradual fashion, p.e. to the year round three level 3 international airports operating in Portugal. The different airlines using these airports would still follow the current IATA slot allocation guidelines in their use of other airports, including the slot exchange protocols. We show that some of PAUSE auction mechanism’s desirable properties, such as computability, transparency, absence of envy, and the mitigation of the “price-jump problem”, “threshold problem”, “exposure problem”, and “winner’s curse problem”, still hold.
    Keywords: Scoring auctions, PAUSE, air travel, airport slot, IATA slot allocation guidelines, market-based allocation mechanism, combinatorial auctions, score function, secondary market.
    JEL: D44 D47 L93 R41
    Date: 2023–02

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