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Research Joint Ventures with Asymmetric Spillovers and Symmetric Contributions

  • Gamal Atallah

The paper proposes a new type of R&D cooperation between firms endowed with asymmetric spillovers, which we call symmetric Research Joint Venture (RJV) cartelization, based on reciprocity in information exchange. In this setting, firms coordinate their R&D expenditures and also share information, but such that the asymmetric spillover rates are increased through cooperation by equal amounts. It is found that this type of cooperation reduces R&D investment by the low spillover firm when its spillover is sufficiently low and the spillover of its competitor is sufficiently high. But it always increases the R&D of the high spillover firm, as well as total R&D (and hence effective cost reduction and welfare). A firm prefers no cooperation to symmetric RJV cartelization if its spillover rate is very high and the spillover rate of its competitor is intermediate. The profitability of symmetric RJV cartelization relative to other modes of cooperation is analyzed. It is found that symmetric RJV cartelization constitutes an equilibrium for a very wide range of spillovers, namely, when asymmetries between spillovers are not too large. As these asymmetries increase, the equilibrium goes from symmetric RJV cartelization, to RJV cartelization, to R&D competition, to R&D cartelization.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 559-586

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:16:y:2007:i:7:p:559-586
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