Discussion paper

DP12511 Duplicative research, mergers and innovation

We show that in the model of Federico, Langus and Valletti (2017) [A simple model of mergers and innovation, Economics Letters, 157, 136-140] horizontal mergers may actually spur innovation by preventing duplication of R&D efforts. This possibility is more likely, the greater is the value of innovations, the less rapidly diminishing are the returns to R&D, and the more highly correlated are the R&D projects of different firms. Federico, Langus and Valletti (2017) do not obtain this result because they focus only on the case in which the merged firm spreads total R&D expenditure evenly across the individual research units of the merging firms -- a strategy which is optimal, however, only if the returns to R&D diminish sufficiently rapidly.


Denicolo, V and M Polo (2017), ‘DP12511 Duplicative research, mergers and innovation‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 12511. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp12511