Thursday, October 15, 2009
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
ABSTRACT: Every year thousands of firms are engaged in research joint ventures (RJV), where all knowledge gained through R&D is shared among members. Most of the empirical literature assumes members are non-cooperative in the product market. But many RJV members are rivals leaving open the possibility that firms may form RJVs to facilitate collusion. We exploit variation in RJV formation generated by a policy change that affects the collusive benefits but not the research synergies associated with an RJV. We estimate an RJV participation equation and find the decision to join is impacted by the policy change. Our results are consistent with research joint ventures serving a collusive function.