Guest Lecture Series - Economics and Finance - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Guest Lecture Series

Throughout the year the Department of Economics and Finance hosts guest lectures by visiting academics and experts from business and industry. These lectures cover a wide range of topics and are suitable for students, graduates, staff and the profession.

International Business Lecture:
Standing on the Shoulders of Midgets:
Dominant Firms and Innovation Incentives

luis cabral

Luís Cabral
Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics and International Business, Stern School of Business, New York University

When: Thursday 17 December 2015, 5:15pm – 7:15pm
Where: Laws 108 Lecture Theatre, Business and Law Building
(Google map link)


The Department of Economics and Finance hosted Luís Cabral, Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics and International Business at New York University’s Stern School of Business at our December guest lecture.

Professor Cabral’s research focuses on the dynamics of firm competition, from both antitrust and strategic perspectives. In this lecture he discussed his innovation model featuring asymmetry between large and small firms, technology transfer by acquisition, and the process of gradual innovation.


I develop a dynamic innovation model with three important features: (a) asymmetry between large and small firms ("giants" and "midgets"); (b) technology transfer by acquisition; and (c) the distinction between gradual innovation (i.e. within a certain "paradigm") and disruptive innovation (i.e. that which induces a new paradigm). I provide conditions such that (a) greater asymmetry between giant and midget decreases incremental innovation but increases disruptive innovation; and (b) allowing for technology transfer increases incremental innovation but decreases disruptive innovation.

About the presenter

A native of Portugal, Luís Cabral is a graduate of Stanford University (PhD, Economics, 1989). He taught at the London Business School, Berkeley, Yale, NYU and IESE. He is currently the Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics and International Business at NYU's Stern School of Business.

Cabral's research is focused on the dynamics of firm competition, both from the antitrust and from the strategy perspectives. His research topics include reputation, learning, network effects, sunk costs, innovation, strategic risk choice. In addition to numerous journal articles, he is the author of Introduction to Industrial Organization, a textbook translated and adopted by universities in dozens of countries worldwide.

Professor Cabral consulted with a variety of organisations (firms, universities, governments, tax and law enforcement agencies, even sports teams) on a variety of economics issues. He was a leading expert witness in the Airbus-Boeing WTO disputes. From 2004-2009, he was a member of European Commission President Barroso's Group of Economic Policy Analysis (a group of 12 members).

Other than economics, Professor Cabral's interests include painting (his art work has been exhibited on both sides of the Atlantic) and saxophone playing (performed with the NYU Stern Faculty All Stars and other equally reputed bands).