Articles in Refereed Journals
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

Strategic Spillovers and Incentives for Research and Development

Harhoff, Dietmar (1996). Strategic Spillovers and Incentives for Research and Development Management Science, 42 (6), 907-925.

This paper develops a model in which a monopolist supplier can contribute to downstream product improvements by creating knowledge spillovers which downstream firms use as a substitute for their own R&D efforts. Although a market for R&D information does not exist, the supplier may appropriate an indirect return on R&D for two reasons. Sufficiently high levels of spillover information lead to greater downstream product quality, and spillover information reduces the equilibrium sunk cost of R&D for downstream firms and thus facilitates entry. Both effects cause an expansion of downstream output and enhance the demand for the supplier's intermediate good. Given sufficiently strong incentives for supplier R&D, the locus of R&D shifts partially from the downstream to the upstream industry. R&D expenditures, technological opportunities, and downstream industry structure are determined endogenously. Weak appropriability conditions in the downstream industry enhance innovation incentives in the supply sector.