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Process innovation, application compatibility, and welfare

Masayoshi Maruyama and Yusuke Zennyo ()

Information Economics and Policy, 2017, vol. 40, issue C, 1-12

Abstract: We analyze a model of cost-reducing R&D and compatibility decisions by two platforms. After an exogenous improvement in the efficiency of R&D, each platform has a heightened incentive to make its software incompatible with the rival’s hardware device to avoid being dominated in the hardware market. This can lead to an inefficient market structure. The increase in the efficiency of R&D not only has a positive direct effect of reducing costs through process innovations but also a negative indirect effect through the change of the compatibility decisions. We show that due to this indirect effect, an increased efficiency of R&D can be harmful to the profit of a large platform and harmful to social welfare.

Keywords: R&D investment; Process innovation; Compatibility; Market dominance; Social welfare (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D43 L13 L14 L15 L22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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