Royalties vs. fees: How do firms pay for foreign technology?
The theoretical determinants of technology licensing contracts have been extensively studied but empirical evidence is scarce. We assemble a data set of all the foreign technology licensing agreements entered into by manufacturing firms in India between 1989 and 1993. Industry, firm, and contract characteristics are used to explain differences between the forms of payment in licensing contracts. Our findings support theoretical arguments; licensing contracts are more likely to use royalties when sales are relatively high, while increased volatility of sales and greater profitability favor fixed fee contracts. We also find that firms are more likely to use output based payments to control the sale and diffusion of R&D or brand intensive know-how to unaffiliated firms.
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