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Competition and Innovation in Automobile Markets

By Vivek Ghosal and Jiayao Ni


Using data from the U.S. automobile market, we empirically examine the link between competition and innovation. Consistent with a large literature, we use patent counts as a measure of innovation. The combination of the U.S. market\u2019s economic importance, market dynamics, and the significant intertemporal fluctuations in firms\u2019 market shares and patents make this an interesting market to examine the link between competition and innovation. We use firm-level time-series data over a long horizon (1969-2012) for nine well established firms selling in the U.S. market (GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler). Some of our key findings are: (1) increase in firms\u2019 market shares result in higher patenting, and the relationship is reasonably non-linear; (2) higher market-wide competition results in an increase in patenting, and the relationship is weakly non-linear; (3) the (absolute) quantitative impact on patents is larger for firms\u2019 market share effect as compared to market-wide competition; (4) there is relatively strong path-dependence in firms\u2019 patenting behavior; and (5) we find interesting results linking patents to GM\u2019s bankruptcy, the Daimler-Chrysler merger, environmental regulations, voluntary export restraints, and firms\u2019 patenting over business cycles

Topics: L13, L62, O31, D21, M21, ddc:330, patents, innovation, market share, competition, automobiles, business cycles, mergers, environmental regulations, antitrust
Publisher: Munich: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo)
Year: 2015
OAI identifier:
Provided by: EconStor

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