J. Sandonís
Investigaciones Económicas – 27.1 (2003) 192-205

Keywords: Research Joint Ventures, Unilateral Commitments, Moral Hazard, Know-How

Abstract: In this paper, the use of unilateral commitments by the partners participating in a Research Joint Venture (RJV) is explained as a rational action, part of the firms’ attempt to select the efficient equilibrium in cases where multiple equilibria exist, and it is shown to increase RJV stability. In a theoretical framework including asymmetric information and uncertainty we show that a unilateral commitment by a firm to disclose own know-how to the venture can be effective to induce cooperative behavior by the partners only if they have complementary technologies, their absorptive capacity is not very high and for intermediate innovation values. Complementarity between the partners is also shown to increase stability in RJVs.