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Selection Biases in Complementary R&D Projects

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  • Jay Pil Choi
  • Heiko Gerlach

Abstract

This paper analyzes selection biases in the project choice of complementary technologies that are used in combination to produce a final product. In the presence of complementary technologies, patents allow innovating firms to hold up rivals who succeed in developing other system components. This hold-up potential induces firms to preemptively claim stakes on component property rights and excessively cluster their R&D efforts on a relatively easier technology. This selection bias is persistent and robust to several model extensions. Implications for the optimal design of intellectual property rights are discussed. We also analyze selection biases that arise when firms differ in research capabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Jay Pil Choi & Heiko Gerlach, 2011. "Selection Biases in Complementary R&D Projects," CESifo Working Paper Series 3425, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3425
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3425.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carl Shapiro, 2006. "Prior User Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 92-96, May.
    2. James Cardon & Dan Sasaki, 1998. "Preemptive Search and R&D Clustering," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 324-338, Summer.
    3. 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.
    4. Heiko A. Gerlach & Thomas Rønde & Konrad Stahl, 2005. "PROJECT CHOICE AND RISK IN R&D -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 53-81, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Fershtman, Chaim & Kamien, Morton I., 1992. "Cross licensing of complementary technologies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 329-348, September.
    7. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-1150, September.
    8. James Bessen & Eric Maskin, 2009. "Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 611-635.
    9. Glenn C. Loury, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410.
    10. Pankaj Tandon, 1983. "Rivalry and the Excessive Allocation of Resources to Research," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 152-165, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nancy Gallini, 2011. "Private agreements for coordinating patent rights: the case of patent pools," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2011(3), pages 5-30.
    2. Matros, Alexander & Smirnov, Vladimir, 2011. "Treasure game," Working Papers 2011-10, University of Sydney, School of Economics, revised May 2014.
    3. repec:kap:revind:v:51:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11151-016-9542-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Annalisa Biagi & Vincenzo Denicolò, 2014. "Timing of Discovery and the Division of Profit With Complementary Innovations," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 89-102, March.
    5. Matros, Alexander & Smirnov, Vladimir, 2016. "Duplicative search," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 1-22.
    6. Chen, Yongmin & Pan, Shiyuan & Zhang, Tianle, 2016. "Patentability, R&D direction, and cumulative innovation," MPRA Paper 73180, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    R&D project choice; preemptive duplication; complementary innovations;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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