Beyond Schumpeter vs. Arrow: How Antitrust Fosters Innovation
32 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2008
Date Written: February 8, 2007
The relationship between competition and innovation is the subject of a familiar controversy in economics, between the Schumpeterian view that monopolies favor innovation and the opposite view, often associated with Kenneth Arrow, that competition favors innovation. Taking their cue from this debate, some commentators reserve judgment as to whether antitrust enforcement is good for innovation. Such misgivings are unnecessary. The modern economic learning about the connection between competition and innovation helps clarify the types of firm conduct and industry settings where antitrust interventions are most likely to foster innovation. Measured against this standard, contemporary competition policy holds up well. Today's antitrust institutions support innovation by targeting types of industries and practices where antitrust enforcement would enhance research and development incentives the most. It is time to move beyond the "on-the-one-hand Schumpeter, on-the-other-hand Arrow" debate and embrace antitrust as essential for fostering innovation.
Keywords: innovation, competition, economic analysis
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