This is the first paper to investigate the timing of the R&D decisions in a mixed market. Considering a model in which a public firm competes against a private one, we examine the desirable (welfare-maximizing) and the equilibrium R&D role of the public firm. Our results suggest that from a social point of view, the public firm should carry out its investment as a Stackelberg follower. Using the observable delay game of Hamilton and Slutsky [Games and Economic Behavior 2 (1990) 29], we show that the public firm may play this desirable role.
This is a working paper. It is also available at: http://ideas.repec.org/p/lbo/lbowps/2007_08.html.