Structuring Public–Private Research Partnerships for Success

Structuring Public–Private Research Partnerships for Success

Empowering University Partners

Gordon Rausser, Holly Amedon and Reid Stevens

As funding for universities and governmental research units has declined, these institutions have turned to the private sector to augment their research and development budgets. This book presents a framework for structuring public-private research partnerships that protect both these institutions’ academic freedom and the private firm’s corporate interests. This formulation is developed using insights originating from the incomplete contracting and collective decision making literatures. The book presents a number of template designs for a variety of research partnerships.

Chapter 7: Governance structures and collective decision making

Gordon Rausser, Holly Amedon and Reid Stevens

Subjects: economics and finance, financial economics and regulation, public finance, public sector economics, politics and public policy, public policy


In this chapter, we advance a collective choice framework to interpret the selection and implementation of public–private research partnerships in the face of conflicts between private self-interest and the public interest. We isolate the political, economic, and ideological forces that emerge in the strategic interactions among the partners. This allows us to formally demonstrate the crucial role that the assignment of authority, control, or decision rights plays in the collective choice arising from PPRPs. The political power captured by each of the partners may be one of the motives for individuals or firms to join a PPRP. Quite simply, they will join the PPRP if the benefit from doing so exceeds the cost involved in the process. Other major reasons to form a PPRP may be symbolic social incentives and a commitment to collaborations that engage different types of intellectual capital.

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