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A Tale of Two Literatures: Transaction Cost and Property Rights in Innovation Outsourcing

This paper investigates the relative importance of property rights (PR) and transactions cost (TC) factors in driving the decision of firms to outsource innovation. The TC literature explains a small part of outsourcing decisions (cost saving motives) while the PR literature deals with revenue maximisation. Using data for over 8,000 firms from the UK Community Innovation Survey, we find that PR variables dominate over TC variables. Our results suggest that the decision to outsource innovation is mostly driven by the ability of firms to control information leakages, less so by cost motives.

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Paper provided by Industrial Economics Division in its series Occasional Papers with number 17.

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Date of creation: 04 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nub:occpap:17
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  1. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  2. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 729-761, May.
  3. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
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  5. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
  7. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  8. Small, Kenneth A & Hsiao, Cheng, 1985. "Multinomial Logit Specification Tests," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(3), pages 619-27, October.
  9. Williamson, Oliver E., 1989. "Transaction cost economics," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 135-182 Elsevier.
  10. James Love & Stephen Roper, 1999. "The Determinants of Innovation: R & D, Technology Transfer and Networking Effects," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 43-64, August.
  11. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Hoetker, Glenn, 2004. "Confounded Coefficients: Accurately Comparing Logit and Probit Coefficients across Groups," Working Papers 03-0100, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  13. Audretsch, D-B & Menkveld, A-J & Thurik, A-R, 1996. "The Decision Between Internal and External R&D," Papers 9603/e, NEUHUYS - RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM.
  14. Veugelers, Reinhilde & Cassiman, Bruno, 1999. "Make and buy in innovation strategies: evidence from Belgian manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 63-80, January.
  15. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2002. "R&D Cooperation and Spillovers: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1169-1184, September.
  16. Grunfeld, Leo A., 2003. "Meet me halfway but don't rush: absorptive capacity and strategic R&D investment revisited," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(8), pages 1091-1109, October.
  17. Audretsch, David B. & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 1999. "Start-up size and industrial dynamics: some evidence from Italian manufacturing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(7), pages 965-983, October.
  18. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  19. James H. Love & Stephen Roper, 2005. "Economists' perceptions versus managers' decisions: an experiment in transaction-cost analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(1), pages 19-36, January.
  20. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1988. "Innovation in Large and Small Firms: An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 678-90, September.
  21. D. McFadden & J. Hausman, 1981. "Specification Tests for the Multinominal Logit Model," Working papers 292, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  22. Kamien, Morton I. & Zang, Israel, 2000. "Meet me halfway: research joint ventures and absorptive capacity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 995-1012, October.
  23. Gorg, Holger & Hanley, Aoife, 2005. "International outsourcing and productivity: evidence from the Irish electronics industry," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 255-269, August.
  24. Van de Ven, Wynand P. M. M. & Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1981. "The demand for deductibles in private health insurance : A probit model with sample selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 229-252, November.
  25. Kraft, Kornelius, 1989. "Market Structure, Firm Characteristics and Innovative Activity," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 329-36, March.
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