We analyze how firms might benefit from trading restrictions in the market for technology. We show that restricting trade to reciprocal exchange (“IP-for-IP” barter instead of cash transactions), as in cross-licensing agreements, alters the allocation of R&D resources and reduces overinvestment in R&D. The tighter are the trading restrictions, the higher are the costs that are due to forgone gains from trade. Our analysis of the trade-offs involved shows that firms benefit from IP-for-IP restrictions, compared to both free trade and no trade environments, in industries where: (1) firms differ in their capabilities to commercialize IP; and (2) patent complementarities exist.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 17, 2016
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