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Of Shrimp and Men

Amanda De Pirro () and Renaud Foucart

No 352589140, Working Papers from Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department

Abstract: Building on a model of competition with endogenous product differentiation and using data from the shrimp aquaculture industry, we show how a cost-reducing innovation can hurt the profit of the innovator by decreasing product diversity and strengthening competition. In the late 1990s, a US governmental program designed a new pathogen-free breed reducing the production cost of white legs shrimp. This innovation gave a temporary boost to the profit of American producers, largely specialized in that variety. However, over time other countries abandoned their native production to adopt the new breed. In this phase of technological catch-up US producers thus not only lost their cost advantage, but also the market power derived from the pre-innovation product differentiation.

Keywords: innovation; cost paradox; product differentiation; shrimp (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D43 F61 L1 L81 O3 Q22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-com and nep-ind
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