This paper studies R&D investment decisions of a firm facing the threat of new technology entry and subject to technical uncertainty. We distinguish four scenarios: inevitable entry, entry deterrence, entry blockade, and non-credible entry threat. The entry threat stimulates the incumbent to innovate in case entry prevention is possible, but discourages R&D if entry is inevitable. In the case of entry deterrence the incumbent successfully prevents entry by innovating. Greater technical uncertainty stimulates starting R&D and can result in implementation of more expensive research projects. The welfare analysis shows that the relation between welfare and entry cost and between welfare and uncertainty is nonmonotonic.
investment under uncertainty real options R&D competition