Why powerful buyers finance suppliers' R&D

It is a common concern that pricing pressure by powerful buyers discourages suppliers' R&D investments. Employing a simple monopsonist - competitive upstream industry - framework, this paper qualifies this view in two respects. First, the monopsonist has an incentive to subsidize upstream R&D which yields more upstream R&D and higher profits in both industries than the monopsonist's commitment to higher prices. Secondly, in the presence of intra-industry R&D spillovers between upstream firms, the monopsonist has an even stronger incentive to finance upstream R&D. If the monopsonist finances more than fifty percent of suppliers R&D efforts, R&D investments in upstream industry will be higher than in the case of buyer competition.

JEL Classification : O31, O32, L13, L20


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