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Outsourcing, Complementary Innovations and Growth

By Alireza Naghavi and Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

Abstract

This paper studies the parallel creation of complementary upstream and downstream innovations by independent labs to shed light on the impact of outsourcing on R&D when supply contracts are incomplete. In particular, we argue that outsourced upstream production contributes to the emergence of innovation networks by creating a demand for upstream R&D. We then analyze under which conditions this leads to faster innovation than in the case of vertically integrated production relying on integrated R&D. In the presence of incomplete supply contracts, the ex-post bargaining power of upstream and downstream parties feeds back to innovation. This determines whether outsourcing decisions leading to static gains from specialized production generate or not also dynamic gains in terms of faster innovation.outsourcing, complementary innovations, incomplete contracts, organization of firms

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