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R&D Delegation in a Duopoly with Spillovers

Listed author(s):
  • Versaevel Bruno

    ()

    (EMLYON Business School & GATE (CNRS UMR 5824))

  • Vencatachellum Désiré

    ()

    (African Development Bank)

There is evidence that competing firms outsource R&D to the same independent for-profit laboratory. We draw on this stylized fact to construct a model where two firms in the same industry offer transfer payments in exchange for user-specific R&D services from a common laboratory. Inter-firm and within-laboratory externalities affect the intensity of competition among delegating firms on the intermediate market for technology. Whether competition is relatively soft or tight is reflected by each firm's monetary offers to the laboratory. These offers determine the R&D outcomes, the laboratory's capacity to earn benefits, the profits for the delegating firms, as well as social welfare. We identify the situations in which the laboratory finds it profitable to deliver services to only one firm, or to both of them. In the latter case we compare the delegated R&D game to two other ones where firms conduct in-house R&D, either cooperatively or non-cooperatively. The delegated R&D game Pareto dominates the other two games, and the laboratory earns positive benefits, if and only if R&D services are complementary inside the laboratory, but only limitedly so, and inter-firm spillovers are sufficiently low. The firms' privately-profitable decision to delegate R&D, when the laboratory participates, always benefits consumers.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 1-42

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:55
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1989. "Agency costs and innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 305-327, December.
  2. ATALLAH, Gamal, 2000. "Vertical R&D Sprillovers, Cooperation, Market Structure, and Innovation," Cahiers de recherche 2000-16, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  3. Shirley J. , HO, 2007. "R&D Outsourcing Contract with Information Leakage," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007026, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  4. Symeonidis, George, 2003. "Comparing Cournot and Bertrand equilibria in a differentiated duopoly with product R&D," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 39-55, January.
  5. Esther Gal-Or, 1991. "A Common Agency with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 274-286, Summer.
  6. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-528, June.
  7. Joanna Poyago-Theotoky, 1999. "A Note on Endogenous Spillovers in a Non-Tournament R & D Duopoly," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 15(3), pages 253-262, November.
  8. Holmström, Bengt, 1989. "Agency Costs and Innovation," Working Paper Series 214, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Wiethaus, Lars, 2005. "Absorptive capacity and connectedness: Why competing firms also adopt identical R&D approaches," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 467-481, June.
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