Choosing a licensee from heterogeneous rivals

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We examine a firm that can license its production technology to a rival when firms are heterogeneous in production costs. We show that a complete technology transfer from one firm to another always increases joint profit under weakly concave demand when at least three firms remain in the industry. A jointly profitable transfer may reduce social welfare, although a jointly profitable transfer from the most efficient firm always increases welfare. We also consider two auction games under complete information: a standard first-price auction and a menu auction by Bernheim and Whinston (1986). With natural refinement of equilibria, we show that the resulting licensees are ordered by degree of efficiency: menu auction, simple auction, and joint-profit-maximizing licensees, in (weakly) descending order.

Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 27(4), 2018, 792-803
Chiu Yu Ko
Chiu Yu Ko
Associate Professor

My research interests include Game Theory, Industrial Organization, Political Economics and Financial Economics.