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Fragmented Property Rights and Incentives for R& D

  • Derek J. Clark

    ()

    (Department of Economics and Management, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway)

  • Kai A. Konrad

    ()

    (Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), D-10785 Berlin, Germany and Department of Business and Economics, Free University of Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany)

Where product innovation requires several complementary patents, fragmented property rights can limit firms' willingness to invest in R& D. We consider the research intensity in multiple simultaneous R& D contests and how it depends on whether firms already hold relevant patents as well as the availability of an option to invent around. A measure of technological uncertainty is also analyzed. The multiple patent product involves an important hold-up problem that can reduce the overall R& D effort. Invent-around options moderate this problem. We also analyze targeted equilibria in which the aim of R& D can be to hold up a rival.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1080.0873
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Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 54 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
Pages: 969-981

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:54:y:2008:i:5:p:969-981
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