Theory and Decision

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 143–180 | Cite as

Does trust matter for R&D cooperation? A game theoretic examination

  • Marie-Laure Cabon-DhersinEmail author
  • Shyama V.  Ramani


The game theoretical approach to R&D cooperation does not investigate the role of trust in the initiation and success of R&D cooperation: it either assumes that firms are non-opportunists or that the R&D cooperation is supported by an incentive mechanism that eliminates opportunism. In contrast, the present paper focuses on these issues by introducing incomplete information and two types of firms: opportunist and non-opportunist. Defining trust as the belief of each firm that its potential collaborator will respect the contract, it identifies the trust conditions under which firms initiate R&D alliances and contribute to their success. The higher the spillovers, the higher the level of trust required to initiate R&D cooperation for non-opportunists, while the inverse holds for opportunists.


Non-cooperative game R&D cooperation Trust and opportunism 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Groupe de Recherche sur le Risque, l’Information et la Décision (GRID)Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers,Maison de la recherche de l’ESTPCachanFrance
  2. 2.Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)Université Pierre Mendès FranceGrenoble cedex9France

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