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The role of endogenous and exogenous mechanisms in the formation of R&D networks

The role of endogenous and exogenous mechanisms in the formation of R&D networks

Tomasello, Mario V., Perra, Nicola ORCID: 0000-0002-5559-3064, Tessone, Claudio J., Karsai, Márton and Schweitzer, Frank (2014) The role of endogenous and exogenous mechanisms in the formation of R&D networks. Scientific Reports, 4:5679. ISSN 2045-2322 (Print), 2045-2322 (Online) (doi:

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We develop an agent-based model of strategic link formation in Research and Development (R&D)networks. Empirical evidence has shown that the growth of these networks is driven by mechanisms whichare both endogenous to the system (that is, depending on existing alliances patterns) and exogenous (that is, driven by an exploratory search for newcomer firms). Extant research to date has not investigated both mechanisms simultaneously in a comparative manner. To overcome this limitation, we develop a general modeling framework to shed light on the relative importance of these two mechanisms. We test our model against a comprehensive dataset, listing cross-country and cross-sectoral R&D alliances from 1984 to 2009. Our results show that by fitting only three macroscopic properties of the network topology, this framework is able to reproduce a number of micro-level measures, including the distributions of degree, local clustering, path length and component size, and the emergence of network clusters. Furthermore, by estimating the link probabilities towards newcomers and established firms from the data, we find that endogenous mechanisms are predominant over the exogenous ones in the network formation, thus quantifying the importance of existing structures in selecting partner firms.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder in order to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Uncontrolled Keywords: R&D networks
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC) > Centre for Business Network Analysis (CBNA)
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2020 10:05

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