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Portfolio Choice in Research and Development

Author

Listed:
  • Sudipto Bhattacharya
  • Dilip Mookherjee

Abstract

We analyze the effects of a "winner-take-all" patent mechanism on the riskiness of the research strategies chosen by competing firms, as well as on the firms' incentives to duplicate research projects. Nash equilibrium choices are compared with the social optimum in a one-shot, simultaneous-move game in which competitors choose the riskiness or correlation of their research performances. We show that neither society nor firms have any preference for correlation per se, while the divergence between social and privately optimal levels of risk depends on skewness characteristics of the probability distribution over the discovery dates and on levels of risk aversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Sudipto Bhattacharya & Dilip Mookherjee, 1986. "Portfolio Choice in Research and Development," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(4), pages 594-605, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:17:y:1986:i:winter:p:594-605
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth L. Judd, 2003. "Closed-loop equilibrium in a multi-stage innovation race," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 21(2), pages 673-695, March.
    2. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-293, June.
    3. Tom Lee & Louis L. Wilde, 1980. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Reformulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 429-436.
    4. Christopher Harris & John Vickers, 1985. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Model of a Race," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 193-209.
    5. Fudenberg, Drew & Gilbert, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph & Tirole, Jean, 1983. "Preemption, leapfrogging and competition in patent races," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-31, June.
    6. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1971. "Optimal Management of a Research and Development Project," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(11), pages 679-697, July.
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