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Microeconomic Foundations of Research and Development


Lee, Tom Kwan-Yau (1979) Microeconomic Foundations of Research and Development. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/48p1-8c06.


Numerous studies of the economics of technological change have appeared since the seminal work of Abramovitz and Solow. Most are empirical studies that are without a formal theoretical basis. Scherer was the pioneer of theoretical work on the problem of R&D rivalry.

This thesis revisits the issues in the literature on R&D. In Chapter I, sources of R&D allocative failures are identified and suggestions to remedy the situation are covered. In Chapter II, a selective critique of theoretical R&D models is provided. This completes Part I of the thesis. Part II constitutes the thesis proper. In Chapter III, I develop a nonsequential R&D search model and examine the economic determinants of R&D decisions. Predictions based on comparative statics results are given. The Reservation Technology concept is introduced. In Chapter IV, welfare implications of market structure on industrial R&D are investigated. It is shown that a monopolist may be less persistent in R&D search than a social decision maker. Sufficient conditions for noncooperative duopolists to be more persistent in R&D search than a monopolist are provided. A discussion on R&D economies of scale and a treatment of product and process innovation are also provided. Chapter V presents a new approach to the theory of R&D. A sequential R&D model with a two dimensional search space is developed and a Reswitching Property of R&D is established.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Social Science
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Humanities and Social Sciences
Major Option:Social Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Noll, Roger G.
Thesis Committee:
  • Noll, Roger G. (chair)
  • Ferejohn, John A.
  • Quirk, James P.
  • Wilde, Louis L.
  • Klein, Burton H.
Defense Date:14 September 1978
Funding AgencyGrant Number
JPL Economic and Policy Analysis GroupUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06302020-173505765
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13836
Deposited By: Kathy Johnson
Deposited On:01 Jul 2020 00:47
Last Modified:02 Dec 2020 01:08

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