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Outsourcing versus technology transfer: Hotelling meets Stackelberg

Listed author(s):
  • Pierce, Andrea
  • Sen, Debapriya

This paper considers a Hotelling duopoly with two firms A and B in the final good market. Both A and $B$ can produce the required intermediate good, firm B having a lower cost due to a superior technology. We compare two contracts: outsourcing (A orders the intermediate good from B) and technology transfer (B transfers its technology to A). First we show that an outsourcing order acts as a credible commitment on part of A to maintain a certain market share in the final good market. This generates an indirect Stackelberg leadership effect, which is absent in a technology transfer contract. We show that compared to the situation of no contracts, there are always Pareto improving outsourcing contracts but no Pareto improving technology transfer contracts. Finally, it is shown that whenever both firms prefer one of the two contracts, all consumers prefer the other contract.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15673.

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Date of creation: 11 Jun 2009
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15673
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  1. Chen, Yongmin & Ishikawa, Jota & Yu, Zhihao, 2004. "Trade liberalization and strategic outsourcing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 419-436, July.
  2. Yutian Chen & Pradeep Dubey & Debapriya Sen, 2006. "Outsourcing Induced by Strategic Competition," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1589, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Sadao Nagaoka, 2004. "Determinants of high-royalty contracts and the impact of stronger protection of intellectual property rights in Japan," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d04-60, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Pedro Mendi, 2005. "The Structure of Payments in Technology Transfer Contracts: Evidence from Spain," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 403-429, 06.
  5. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
  6. Shy, Oz & Stenbacka, Rune, 2003. "Strategic outsourcing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 203-224, February.
  7. Pio Baake & Jörg Oechssler & Christoph Schenk, 1999. "Explaining cross-supplies," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 70(1), pages 37-60, February.
  8. Vishwasrao, Sharmila, 2007. "Royalties vs. fees: How do firms pay for foreign technology?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 741-759, August.
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