Product Innovation of an Incumbent Firm: A Dynamic Analysis

V. Hagspiel, Kuno Huisman, Peter Kort, Claudia Nunes, Rita Pimentel

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In case of a product innovation firms start producing a new product. While doing so, such a firm should decide what to do with its existing product after the firm has innovated. Essentially it can choose between replacing the established product by the new one, or keep on producing the established product so that it produces two products at the same time. The aim of this paper is to design a theoretical framework to analyze this problem. Due to technological progress the quality of the newest available technology, and thus the quality of the innovative product that can be produced by this technology, increases over time. The implication is that a later innovation enables the firm to produce a better innovative product. So, typically the firm faces the tradeoff between innovating fast, which boosts its profits soon but only by a small amount, or innovating later, which leads to a larger payoff increase. The drawback here is that the firm is stuck with producing the established product for a longer time. We fund that a highly uncertain economic environment makes the firm delay abolishing the old product market. But if the innovative market is more volatile, the firm enters the market sooner, provided it will be active on the old market, at least for some time. Moreover, the smaller the initial demand for the innovative product market, the better the quality of the innovative product needs to be for the product innovation to be optimal.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherCentER, Center for Economic Research
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2018

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • product innovation
  • technology adoption
  • Dynamic Programming


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