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Outsourcing, complementary innovations, and growth

  • Alireza Naghavi
  • Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano

This article studies the parallel creation of complementary innovations serving the upstream and downstream stages of a production chain with the aim of shedding light on the impact of outsourcing on R&D when supply contracts are incomplete. We argue that outsourced upstream production contributes to the emergence of innovation networks by creating a demand for upstream R&D. The bargaining weight of the two parties determines whether outsourcing decisions that lead to static specialization gains also generate dynamic gains when compared with vertically integrated production that relies on integrated R&D. In particular, growth is maximized when the bargaining power is split in a way that search and hold-up frictions are minimized. Putting this result next to the decision of firms to outsource, we conclude that complementary innovations are more likely to foster growth in Schumpeterian Mark I sectors, while vertical integration does so in Schumpeterian Mark II sectors. Copyright 2010 The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Industrial and Corporate Change.

Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 1009-1035

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Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:19:y:2010:i:4:p:1009-1035
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