When Small Firms Fight Back Against Large Firms in R&D Activities

Toshihiro Matsumura 1 , 1  and Noriaki Matsushima 2 , 2
  • 1 University of Tokyo, matsumur@iss.u-tokyo.ac.jp
  • 2 Osaka University, nmatsush@iser.osaka-u.ac.jp


This paper investigates an asymmetric duopoly model with R&D competition and product positioning. We find that an inefficient (small) firm may engage in R&D more intensively than an efficient (large) firm in spite of economies of scale in R&D activities. Contrary to the findings of previous studies, competition is more likely to have a positive effect on the investments of the small firm than on those of the large firm. We also find that improving the efficiency of the inefficient firm can reduce both social and consumer surplus.

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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (BEJEAP) is an international forum for scholarship that employs microeconomics to analyze issues in business, consumer behavior and public policy. Topics include the interaction of firms, the functioning of markets, the effects of domestic and international policy and the design of organizations and institutions.