Knowledge Spillovers, Mergers and Public Policy in Economic Clusters

Knowledge Spillovers, Mergers and Public Policy in Economic Clusters This paper investigates how market concentration affects research activity in an economic cluster. The firms in the cluster play a two-stage game. In the first stage the firms choose whether or not to engage in costly research that generates technological improvements that spill over to the other firms in the cluster. The more firms engaged in research the richer or more profitable is the pool of knowledge that spills over. In the second stage after the knowledge spillovers have occurred, firms compete in quantities. We solve for the symmetric mixed strategy equilibrium to the first stage of the game, and find that too low a degree of concentration in the cluster will destroy firms' incentives to undertake research and so the cluster risks stagnation. We explore whether a merger can stimulate research activity by increasing concentration in the cluster. Finally, we consider a public policy response to stagnation and analyze whether a direct public subsidy to stimulate research is preferable to a self-financing arrangement. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals

Knowledge Spillovers, Mergers and Public Policy in Economic Clusters

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Economics; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
ISSN
0889-938X
eISSN
1573-7160
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11151-004-1928-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper investigates how market concentration affects research activity in an economic cluster. The firms in the cluster play a two-stage game. In the first stage the firms choose whether or not to engage in costly research that generates technological improvements that spill over to the other firms in the cluster. The more firms engaged in research the richer or more profitable is the pool of knowledge that spills over. In the second stage after the knowledge spillovers have occurred, firms compete in quantities. We solve for the symmetric mixed strategy equilibrium to the first stage of the game, and find that too low a degree of concentration in the cluster will destroy firms' incentives to undertake research and so the cluster risks stagnation. We explore whether a merger can stimulate research activity by increasing concentration in the cluster. Finally, we consider a public policy response to stagnation and analyze whether a direct public subsidy to stimulate research is preferable to a self-financing arrangement.

Journal

Review of Industrial OrganizationSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 30, 2004

References

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