Articles scientifiques

A Perpetual Race to Stay Ahead


Review of Economic Studies

octobre 2004, vol. 71, n°249, pp.1065-1089

Départements : Finance

This paper presents a model of dynamic competition between two firms that repeatedly engage in an innovative activity. The state of competition--measured by the difference between the number of innovations introduced by the firms--evolves stochastically according to their effort level. The structure of Markov perfect equilibria is identified. It is generally not true that competition is fiercest when firms are closest. Rather, firms invest under two distinct circumstances: while sufficiently ahead, to outstrip their rival and secure a durable leadership; while behind, to regain leadership and prevent the situation from worsening to the point where their rival outstrips them.

Are intellectual property rights unfair?


Labour Economics

février 2004, vol. 11, n°1, pp.129-144

Départements : Finance

If redistribution is distortionary, and if the income of skilled workers is due to knowledge-intensive activities and depends positively on intellectual property, a social planner which cares about income distribution may in principle want to use a reduction in intellectual property rights (IPRs) rather than redistributive transfers. On the one hand, such a reduction reduces static inefficiency. On the other hand, standard redistribution also reduces the level of R and D because it distorts occupational choice. We study this possibility in the context of a model with horizontal innovation, where the government, in addition to taxes and transfers, controls the fraction of innovations that are granted patents. The model predicts that standard redistribution always dominates limitations to IPRs

Changes in the Functional Structure of Firms and the Demand for Skill

E. Maurin, D. THESMAR

Journal of Labor Economics

juillet 2004, vol. 22, n°3

Départements : Finance

We analyze recent changes in the occupational structure of French manufacturing firms. Firms employ a greater proportion of engineers working on the design and marketing of new products and a lower proportion of high-skill experts working in administration-related activities. Firms have also reduced the share of production-related activities at both the levels of high-skill and low-skill workers. We develop a labor demand model that shows the role played by technological change. New technologies make it possible to allocate more human resources to the activities that are the most difficult to program in advance

Coase and hotelling: A meeting of the minds

J. HÖRNER, M Kamien

Journal of Political Economy

juin 2004, vol. 112, n°3, pp.718-723

Départements : Finance

In this paper we tie together the two literatures of durable goods monopoly and exhaustible resource pricing. We show that the inter-temporal no-arbitrage condition that arises if the durable good mo-nopolist seller can commit to a price path mirrors the intertemporal no-arbitrage condition if the monopsonist buyer of an exhaustible resource can commit to a price path. The intuition is that the durable good monopolist initially announces high future prices to get high-valuation buyers to buy early and subsequently lowers the price to attract additional buyers. On the other hand, the monopsonist buyer of the exhaustible resource initially announces low future prices to encourage sellers to supply their units early and subsequently, as the stock of the resource declines, raises the price to call forth additional supply. As the period of commitment shrinks to zero, the durable good's price drops to its marginal cost and the exhaustible resource's price jumps to its choke level, all in a twinkling of the eye, as Coase hypothesized.

Collective vs Individual sale of TV rights in league sports

F. PALOMINO, J. Sakovics, S. Falconieri

Journal of the European Economic Association

septembre 2004, vol. 2, n°5, pp.833-862

Départements : Finance

In many countries, the collective sale of television rights by sports leagues has been challenged by the antitrust authorities. In several cases, however, the leagues won in court, on the ground that sport is not a standard good. In this paper, we investigate the conditions under which the sale of television rights collectively by sports leagues, rather than individually by teams, is preferred from a social welfare point of view. We find that collective sale is socially preferable when (a) leagues are small and relatively homogeneous in terms of clout and (b) teams get little performance-related revenues