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Know-how sharing with stochastic innovations

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We provide a model of know-how sharing between competing firms in which each of two firms gets a stochastic innovation in its stock of know-how in every period. Separately considering the cases when innovations are indivisible and divisible, we examine the nature of the subgame perfect sharing agreements that can obtain. We discover that both stochasticity and indivisibility undermine the ability to support sharing. Furthermore, we find that there are equilibria in which know-how sharing can be intermittent and that small innovations are more likely to be shared than large ones, when innovations are divisible but not necessarily when they are indivisible. JEL Classification: O30, O33

Partage du savoir faire quand les innovations sont stochastiques. Les auteurs proposent un modèle de partage du savoir-faire entre entreprises concurrentes dans lequel chacune des deux entreprises obtient une innovation stochastique dans son stock of savoir-faire à chaque période. En considérant séparément les cas où les innovations sont divisibles et non-divisibles, on examine la nature des accords de partage parfait qui peuvent se produire dans le sous-jeu. On montre que la stochasticité et l'indivisibilité minent la possibilité de maintenir le partage. De plus, on découvre que des solutions d'équilibre avec partage de savoir-faire peuvent jouer par intermittence, et qu'on est davantage susceptible de partager les fruits des petites innovations plus que des grandes quand les innovations sont divisibles, mais pas nécessairement quand elles sont indivisibles.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics, University of Calgary, 2: Department of Economics, University of British Columbia

Publication date: May 1, 2001

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