Disclosure of know-how in research joint ventures

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Research joint ventures (RJVs) usually face technical uncertainty, their expected cost typically depending on the know-how disclosed by the partners. However, the partners have little incentive to share their know-how when they are simultaneously competitors in other markets. In this setting, we show that sometimes profitable RJVs do not start when the disclosure of know-how is not contractible, and characterize the incentive contracts when they exist. We also analyze RJVs as an alternative to licensing contracts for the transmission of know-how. Finally, we show that the EEC's technology policy based on cost subsidies has negative consequences on firms' incentives to share know-how.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-75
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Organization
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1997


  • Know-how
  • R&D
  • Research joint ventures
  • Technology policy


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