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Can’t Buy Me Rights! The Contractual Structure of Asymmetrical Inter-firm Collaborations


  • Häussler, Carolin


The efficient allocation of control rights in inter-firm collaborations is a widely emphasized issue. In this paper, I empirically identify control rights and the allocation of these rights using a unique survey data set on collaborations between biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms. Fifteen control rights are identified to make up the structure of deals with five rights being the items of contention in deal making (ownership of patents, production, further development of the technology, the right to manage the collaboration, and the right to market universally). I find that the assignment of control rights is related to the bargaining position of firms and incentive issues. Hence, goliaths –pharmaceutical incumbents–subrogate critical rights to the new ventures when the final outcome of the project is depending on the venture’s effort.

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  • Häussler, Carolin, 2006. "Can’t Buy Me Rights! The Contractual Structure of Asymmetrical Inter-firm Collaborations," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 189, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:189

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    contracts; performance; inter-firm collaboration; biotechnology;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • 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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