Abstract

I reexamine the inverted-U relationship between competition and innovation (modeled and tested by Aghion et al. (2005)) by using data from publicly traded manufacturing firms in the United States. I control for the possible endogeneity of competition by using a trade-weighted average of industry exchange rates as an instrument. I find a mildly negative relationship between competition (as measured by the inverse of markups) and innovation (as measured by citation-weighted patents). The negative relationship is robust to many alternative assumptions and specifications. To reconcile the mildly negative relationship in the U.S. data with the inverted-U relationship that Aghion et al. (2005) find in the U.K. data, I modify their theoretical model and show that the modified model can explain both negative and inverted-U relationships. The key theoretical assumption is that the U.K. manufacturing industries are technologically more neck-and-neck than their counterparts in the United States. I find support for this assumption in the data. The different empirical results between the two countries may also arise because of differences in data and samples.

This content is only available as a PDF.

Supplementary data