Innovation, Market Structure and the Holdup Problem: Investment Incentives and Coordination

Abraham L. Wickelgren
Working Paper:

I analyze the innovation incentives under monopoly and duopoly provision of horizontally differentiated products purchased via bilateral negotiations, integrating the market structure and innovation literature with the holdup literature. I show that competition can improve local incentives for non-contractible investment. Because innovation levels are generally strategic substitutes, however, there can be multiple duopoly equilibria. In some circumstances, monopoly can provide a coordination device that can lead to greater expected welfare despite inferior local innovation incentives. The conditions for this to be the case, however, are quite restrictive.