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The efficiency and evolution of R&D Networks

  • Michael D König

    (Department of Economics)

  • Stefano Battiston

    (Centre d'analyse et de mathématique sociale)

  • Mauro Napoletano


  • Frank Schweitzer

    (Chair of Systems Design)

This work introduces a new model to investigate the efficiency and evolution of networks of firms exchanging knowledge in R&D partnerships. We first examine the efficiency of a given network structure from the point of view of maximizing total profits in the industry. We show that the efficient network structure depends on the marginal cost of collaboration. When the marginal cost is low, the complete graph is efficient. However, a high marginal cost implies that the efficient network is sparser and has a core-periphery structure. Next, we examine the evolution of the network structure when the decision on collaborating partners is decentralized. We show the existence of multiple equilibrium structures which are in general inefficient. This is due to (i) the path dependent character of the partner selection process, (ii) the presence of knowledge externalities and (iii) the presence of severance costs involved in link deletion. Finally, we study the properties of the emerging equilibrium networks and we show that they are coherent with the stylized facts on R&D networks.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/9933.

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Date of creation: 03 Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in 12th ISS International Conference, pp.1-53
Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/9933
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