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On contracting for uncertain R&D

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  • Rajeev K. Goel

    (Department of Economics, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA)

Abstract

Using a two-stage model, this paper studies auctions of research and development (R&D) contracts when the outcome of research is uncertain. The agent is contracted by the principal to invent a new product or a new process. The principal selects the most capable agent through an auction and writes an incentive contract with the winning agent to share risks. The main finding of the paper is that the generally superior incentive contracts might not be desirable under plausible conditions in R&D contracting. In particular, we find that the principal prefers a cost-plus contract in cases of large R&D projects or rising innovation benefits, but would prefer a fixed-price contract when the number of bidders increases. An alternate elasticity interpretation of results holds promise for empirical analysis. Public policy implications are finally discussed. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Managerial and Decision Economics.

Volume (Year): 20 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 99-106

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Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:20:y:1999:i:2:p:99-106

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/7976

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References

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  1. Jean-Jaques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Auctioning Incentive Contracts," Working papers 403, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Flavio Delbono & Vincenzo Denicolo, 1991. "Regulating Innovative Activity: the Role of a Public Firm," Working Papers 117, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  3. Morton I. Kamien & Nancy L. Schwartz, 1980. "A Generalized Hazard Rate," Discussion Papers 435, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Kamien, Morton I. & Schwartz, Nancy L., 1980. "A generalized hazard rate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 245-249.
  5. William P. Rogerson, 1994. "Economic Incentives and the Defense Procurement Process," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 65-90, Fall.
  6. Bernard Caillaud & Patrick Rey & Roger Guesnerie & Jean Tirole, 1987. "Government Intervention in Production and Incentives Theory: A Review of Recent Contributions," Working papers 472, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 1990. "Measuring the effectiveness of competition in defense procurement: A survey of the empirical literature," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(1), pages 60-79.
  8. David Sappington, 1982. "Optimal Regulation of Research and Development under Imperfect Information," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 354-368, Autumn.
  9. Riordan, Michael H & Sappington, David E M, 1987. "Awarding Monopoly Franchises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 375-87, June.
  10. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1986. "Bidding for Contracts: A Principal-Agent Analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 326-338, Autumn.
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Cited by:
  1. Martin, Stephen & Scott, John T., 2000. "The nature of innovation market failure and the design of public support for private innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 437-447, April.
  2. Zhang, Heng & Yang, Ming & Bao, Jiye & Gong, Pu, 2013. "Competitive investing equilibrium under a procurement mechanism," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 734-738.

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