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Open knowledge disclosure, incomplete information and collective innovations

  • Julien PENIN

Why do firms decide sometimes to disclose widely part of their knowledge while they could have kept it secret ? We attempt to provide an original answer to this question by combining the literature in economics of innovation and in economics of incomplete information. We suggest that such practices of open knowledge disclosure can be deliberate strategies aiming at solving adverse selection problems that arise when firms try to find partners with whom to cooperate in R&D. Competent firms can sometimes think it a profitable strategy to disclose knowledge because this disclosure may allow them to display their differences with less competent firms, thus making it easier to start a profitable collaboration with other competent firms. We illustrate this intuition with the help of a signalling game under incomplete information.

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Paper provided by Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg in its series Working Papers of BETA with number 2005-10.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2005-10
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  2. Roberto FONTANA & Aldo GEUNA & Mireille MATT, 2005. "Factors Affecting University–Industry R&D Collaboration : The importance of screening and signalling," Working Papers of BETA 2005-07, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
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  8. Isabelle Maret, 2003. "Endogenous Spillovers under Cournot Rivalry and Co-opetitive Behaviors," Working Papers of BETA 2003-10, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
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  10. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
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  12. Bj–rn Johnson & Edward Lorenz & Bengt-�ke Lundvall, 2002. "Why all this fuss about codified and tacit knowledge?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 245-262.
  13. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  14. Cockburn, Iain M & Henderson, Rebecca M, 1998. "Absorptive Capacity, Coauthoring Behavior, and the Organization of Research in Drug Discovery," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 157-82, June.
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  16. De Fraja, Giovanni, 1993. "Strategic spillovers in patent races," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 139-146, March.
  17. Mazzoleni, Roberto & Nelson, Richard R., 1998. "The benefits and costs of strong patent protection: a contribution to the current debate," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 273-284, July.
  18. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
  19. Julien Pénin, 2002. "Endogénéisation des externalités de recherche: le rôle de la capacité d'émission des connaissances," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 20-13, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
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