James A. Schmitz, Jr.

Research Dept.
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
90 Hennepin Ave., PO Box 291
Minneapolis, MN 55480

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2008Monopoly and the Incentive to Innovate When Adoption Involves Switchover Disruptions
with Thomas J. Holmes, David K. Levine: w13864
When considering the incentive of a monopolist to adopt an innovation, the textbook model assumes that it can instantaneously and seamlessly introduce the new technology. In fact, firms often face major problems in integrating new technologies. In some cases, firms have to (temporarily) produce at levels substantially below capacity upon adoption. We call such phenomena switchover disruptions, and present extensive evidence on them. If firms face switchover disruptions, then they may temporarily lose some unit sales upon adoption. If the firm loses unit sales, then a cost of adoption is the foregone rents on the sales of those units. Hence, greater market power will mean higher prices on those lost units of output, and hence a reduced incentive to innovate. We introduce switchover disrupti...

Published: Holmes, Thomas J., David K. Levine, and James A. Schmitz. 2012. "Monopoly and the Incentive to Innovate When Adoption Involves Switchover Disruptions." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 4(3): 1-33. DOI: 10.1257/mic.4.3.1 citation courtesy of

December 2004Latin America in the Rearview Mirror
with Harold L. Cole, Lee E. Ohanian, Alvaro Riascos: w11008
Latin American countries are the only Western countries that are poor and that aren't gaining ground on the United States. This paper evaluates why Latin America has not replicated Western economic success. We find that this failure is primarily due to TFP differences. Latin America's TFP gap is not plausibly accounted for by human capital differences, but rather reflects inefficient production. We argue that competitive barriers are a promising channel for understanding low Latin TFP. We document that Latin America has many more international and domestic competitive barriers than do Western and successful East Asian countries. We also document a number of microeconomic cases in Latin America in which large reductions in competitive barriers increase productivity to Western levels.


  • Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian & Alvaro Riascos & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 2006. "Latin America in the rearview mirror," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sep. citation courtesy of
  • Cole, Harold L. & Ohanian, Lee E. & Riascos, Alvaro & Schmitz, James Jr, 2005. "Latin America in the rearview mirror," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 69-107, January. citation courtesy of

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