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Research Joint Ventures, Optimal Licensing, and R&D Subsidy Policy


  • Fan, Cuihong
  • Wolfstetter, Elmar G.


We reconsider the justifications of R&D subsidies by Spencer and Brander (1983) and others by allowing firms to pool R&D investments and license innovations. In equilibrium R&D joint ventures are formed and licensing occurs in a way that eliminates the strategic benefits of R&D investment in the subsequent oligopoly game. Nevertheless, governments subsidize their domestic firms in order to raise their bargaining position in the joint venture. This holds true regardless of whether governments offer either unconditional or conditional subsidies. This suggests an alternative explanation of the observed proliferation of R&D subsidies.

Suggested Citation

  • Fan, Cuihong & Wolfstetter, Elmar G., 2006. "Research Joint Ventures, Optimal Licensing, and R&D Subsidy Policy," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 165, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:165

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kaplan, Todd & Sela, Aner, 2003. "Auctions with Private Entry Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 4080, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Elberfeld, Walter & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 1999. "A dynamic model of Bertrand competition with entry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 513-525, May.
    3. Samuelson, William F., 1985. "Competitive bidding with entry costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 53-57.
    4. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with entry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 343-347.
    5. Kagel, John & Pevnitskaya, Svetlana & Ye, Lixin, 2008. "Indicative bidding: An experimental analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 697-721, March.
    6. Gal, Shmuel & Landsberger, Michael & Nemirovski, Arkadi, 2007. "Participation in auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 75-103, July.
    7. Ye, Lixin, 2007. "Indicative bidding and a theory of two-stage auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 181-207, January.
    8. Perry, Motty & Wolfstetter, Elmar & Zamir, Shmuel, 2000. "A Sealed-Bid Auction That Matches the English Auction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 265-273, November.
    9. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-599, June.
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    More about this item


    patent licensing; industrial organization; R&D subsidies; research joint ventures; technology policy;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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