Multinational Knowledge Spillovers with Centralized versus Decentralized R&D: A Game Theoretic Approach
AbstractThis Paper provides a theoretical model on the trade-offs an MNE face when assigning subsidiaries an active role in innovation and organizing its R&D decentralized versus centralized. R&D decentralization avoids having to adapt centrally developed innovations to local markets, being able to use the specific know-how of the subsidiary. In addition R&D subsidiaries can be used to source locally available external know-how. But the MNE has to organize the transfer of local know-how internally so as to be able to benefit from this location specific know-how throughout the organization. At the same time, decentralization of R&D to the subsidiary level intensifies the challenge of effectively appropriating core technology know-how, preventing the spilling over of valuable know-how to competitors, located in the foreign markets. While R&D decentralization has repercussions on both intra-company technology transfers as well as inter-company technology spillovers, it emerges as a possible equilibrium outcome from the resulting strategic interaction between the foreign subsidiary and local competition. The proposed model treats both internal and external spillovers in a game-theoretic context explicitly recognizing that absorptive capacity is required to be able to use external spillovers. The analysis suggests that a strong local know-how base is not a univocally positive factor for locating R&D abroad and indicates the critical complementary role of managing internal and external spillovers to capitalize on the benefits from R&D decentralization. It also shows that the intensity of product market competition in the host country is important, especially in determining the outgoing spillover costs.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3151.
Date of creation: Jan 2002
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
- F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
- L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
- O23 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development
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- NEP-ALL-2003-03-14 (All new papers)
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