The aim of this paper is to empirically test the determinants of Research Joint Ventures' (RJVs) group dynamics. We develop a model based on learning and transaction cost theories, which represent the benefits and costs of RJV participation, respectively. According to our framework, firms at each period in time weigh the benefits against the costs of being an RJV member. RJV dynamics can then be interpreted as a consequence of this evolving trade-off over time. We look at entry, turbulence and exit in RJVs that have been set up under the US National Cooperative Research Act, which allows for certain antitrust exemptions in order to stimulate firms to co-operate in R&D. Accounting for unobserved project characteristics and controlling for inter-RJV interactions and industry effects, the Tobit panel regressions show the importance of group and time features for an RJVs evolution. We further identify an average RJVs long-term equilibrium size and assess its determining factors. Ours is a first attempt to produce robust stylized facts about co-operational short- and long-term dynamics, a neglected dimension in research co-operations, but an important element in understanding how collaborative learning works.

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Keywords Group processes, Learning, Panel data, Research alliance dynamics, Transaction costs
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Journal Research Policy
Duso, T, Pennings, H.P.G, & Seldeslachts, J.W. (2010). Learning dynamics in research alliances. Research Policy, 39(6), 776–789. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2010.03.002