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Breaking Up a Research Consortium

Author

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  • Niedermayer, Andras
  • Wu, Jianjun

Abstract

Inter-firm R&D collaborations through contractual arrangements have become increasingly popular, but in many cases they are broken up without any joint discovery. We provide a rationale for the breakup date in R&D collaboration agreements. More specifically, we consider a research consortium initiated by a firm A with a firm B. B has private information about whether it is committed to the project or a free-rider. We show that under fairly general conditions, a breakup date in the contract is a (secondbest) optimal screening device for firm A to screen out free-riders. With the additional constraint of renegotiation proofness, A can only partially screen out free-riders: entry by some free-riders makes sure that A does not have an incentive to renegotiate the contract ex post. We also propose empirical strategies for identifying the three likely causes of a breakup date: adverse selection, moral hazard, and project non-viability.

Suggested Citation

  • Niedermayer, Andras & Wu, Jianjun, 2013. "Breaking Up a Research Consortium," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 433, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:433
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/17390/1/433.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chiara Conti & Marco A. Marini, 2017. "Are You the Right Partner ? R&D Agreement as a Screening Device," DIAG Technical Reports 2017-09, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal R&D contracts; adverse selection; breakup date; R&D collaboration;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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