R&D Cooperation and Spillovers: Some Empirical Evidence
This paper provides some first empirical evidence on the relationship between R&D spillovers and R&D cooperation. The results suggest disentangling different aspects of know-how flows. Firms which rate incoming spillovers more importantly and who can limit outgoing spillovers by a more effective protection of know-how, are more likely to cooperate in R&D. Our analysis also finds that cooperating firms have higher incoming spillovers and higher protection of know- how, indicating that cooperation may serve as a vehicle to manage information flows. Our results thus suggest that on the one hand the information sharing and coordination aspects of incoming spillovers are crucial in understanding cooperation, while on the other hand, protection against outgoing spillovers is important for firms to engage in stable cooperative agreements by reducing free-rider problems. Distinguishing different types of cooperative partners reveals that while managing outgoing spillovers is less critical in alliances with non-commercial research partners than between vertically related partners, the incoming spillovers seem to be more critical in understanding the former type of R&D cooperation.
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