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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Friebel, Guido / Requate, Till / Tsui, Kevin / Wichardt, Philipp / Zulehner, Christine

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Technology Inertia and the Benefits of Entry

Emanuele Bacchiega1 / Paolo G. Garella2

1Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna,

2Università degli Studi di Milano,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 12, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: 10.1515/1935-1682.3133, March 2012

Publication History:
Published Online:
2012-03-16

Abstract

We study the effects of entry on price in an industry. This assessment is usually carried out under the implicit assumption of “technological inertia”: incumbents cannot change their technologies in response to entry. We remove this assumption by modeling a game where, before quantity competition, firms choose technologies. We identify parameter configurations where, after entry, the incumbent(s) changes technology. This leads either to a higher price after entry or to a “dampening effect” on price reduction. This effect is shown to be relevant when evaluating the welfare gains from measures intended to foster competition by increasing the number of competitors. The converse proposition could be stated for evaluating the social costs of mergers.

Keywords: technology; oligopoly; entry; mergers; competition policy

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