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R&D Sourcing, Joint Ventures and Innovation: A Multiple Indicators Approach


  • James D. Adams
  • Mircea Marcu


This paper reexamines the limits of the firm in Research and Development (R&D). Using evidence drawn from industrial laboratories we study the causes and effects of R&D sourcing. We begin with the causes of sourcing, finding that Research Joint Ventures (RJVs), the option to purchase and acquire, and research with federal government contribute to sourced R&D. We then consider the effects of sourcing, RJVs, and the firm's internal research on innovation, as defined by patents and new products. Our results are that sourcing has little effect on innovation, but that RJVs and internal research increase innovation. This suggests specialization: cost saving is the primary motivation for sourcing, while innovation is the primary motivation for RJVs and internal research. Therefore, shared R&D comes in several varieties: R&D sourcing is not concerned with innovation, but consistent with their purpose, RJVs are instrumental in jointly commercializing the research of different firms.

Suggested Citation

  • James D. Adams & Mircea Marcu, 2004. "R&D Sourcing, Joint Ventures and Innovation: A Multiple Indicators Approach," NBER Working Papers 10474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10474
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Spyros Arvanitis & Boris Lokshin & Pierre Mohnen & Martin Woerter, 2015. "Impact of External Knowledge Acquisition Strategies on Innovation: A Comparative Study Based on Dutch and Swiss Panel Data," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 46(4), pages 359-382, June.
    2. Cefis, Elena & Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Weitzel, Utz, 2005. "Effects of Acquisitions on Product and Process Innovation and R&D Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 5275, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. de Faria, Pedro & Lima, Francisco & Santos, Rui, 2010. "Cooperation in innovation activities: The importance of partners," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1082-1092, October.
    4. Andreja Jaklic & Joze P. Damijan & Matija Rojec, 2008. "Innovation Cooperation and Innovation Activity of Slovenian Enterprises," LICOS Discussion Papers 20108, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    5. Faria, Pedro & Schmidt, Tobias, 2007. "International Cooperation on Innovation: Empirical Evidence for German and Portuguese Firms," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-060, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. James D. Adams, 2005. "Industrial R&D Laboratories: Windows on Black Boxes?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(2_2), pages 129-137, January.
    7. Spyros Arvanitis & Boris Lokshin & Pierre Mohnen & Martin Woerter, 2013. "Impact of external knowledge acquisition strategies on innovation," KOF Working papers 13-325, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    8. James Adams, 2006. "Learning, internal research, and spillovers," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 5-36.
    9. Adams, James D. & Black, Grant C. & Clemmons, J. Roger & Stephan, Paula E., 2005. "Scientific teams and institutional collaborations: Evidence from U.S. universities, 1981-1999," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 259-285, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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