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Complementarities and spillovers in mergers: an empirical investigation using patent data

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  • Alan Marco
  • Gordon Rausser

Abstract

We investigate the merger behavior of firms in the plant biotechnology sector using firm-level patent data for public and private firms in the 1980s and 1990s. Conditional logit estimation is used to estimate the probability that the firms will match in mergers and spinoffs. We calculate several patent portfolio-based measures of complementarity and spillovers between firms, and find that both are important to defining a good match of acquirer and target. However, complementarities provide the more robust explanation. The mergers and spinoffs observed in plant biotechnology may have been designed to overcome the anti-commons problem of mutually blocking technology, an extreme form of complementarity. Our results highlight the need to integrate patent and competition policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Marco & Gordon Rausser, 2011. "Complementarities and spillovers in mergers: an empirical investigation using patent data," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 207-231.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:20:y:2011:i:3:p:207-231
    DOI: 10.1080/10438590903509827
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    Cited by:

    1. Emmanuel Duguet & Megan MacGarvie, 2005. "How well do patent citations measure flows of technology? Evidence from French innovation surveys," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 375-393.
    2. Ornaghi, Carmine, 2009. "Mergers and innovation in big pharma," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 70-79, January.
    3. Ornaghi, Carmine, 2006. "Mergers and innovation: the case of the pharmaceutical industry," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 605, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.

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