Discussion paper

DP1321 Simultaneous Choice of Process and Product Innovation

This paper investigates the strategic decisions of two identical duopolists, who choose production technology as well as product differentiation through their R&D investment. The product market is characterized by heterogeneous Cournot competition. Firms have an incentive to invest in both process innovation and product innovation. The optimal division between these two kinds of R&D activities changes with market size. The higher consumers' willingness to pay, the more firms' investment is driven to product differentiation. If firms coordinate their R&D activities and share R&D costs, but remain rivals in the product market, they will reduce costs and differentiate their products more than under competition. The optimal proportion of R&D investment is driven more to product innovation than under R&D competition. It can be shown that welfare is increased if firms coordinate their research activities and share R&D costs. When firms cooperate, but do not share their R&D costs, welfare is only enhanced if product innovations are not too expensive.


Rosenkranz, S (1996), ‘DP1321 Simultaneous Choice of Process and Product Innovation‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 1321. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp1321