This article examines the adoption of indemnification clauses in research and development (R&D) contracts, in which a firm commits to reimbursing its agent against liabilities and legal costs. Indemnification achieves efficient risk sharing but dilutes the agent’s incentives to take precautions. Such incentives may be restored if the firm offers contingent indemnification and monitors the agent’s activities. Additionally, tougher competition can motivate the firm and agent to take more aggressive R&D activities, which leads to higher liability risks.
This article investigates how transportation networks shape firms' geographic footprint by reducing monitoring costs of distant investments. Exploiting the staggered expansions of China's passenger high-speed rail (HSR) network, the authors document that the amount of intercity investment between a pair of cities increases by 45% with the introduction of an HSR line connecting the cities. They enhance the causal inference by applying high-dimensional fixed effects, and focusing on city pairs that are "accidentally" connected in the network.
Many innovative products are designed to satisfy the demand of specific target consumers; thus, the innovators will inevitably compete with each other in the product market. This paper investigates how a profit-maximizing principal should properly allocate her limited resources to support the innovations of multiple potentially competing innovators. The study finds that, as the available resources increase, the optimal diversification of investment may first increase and then decrease.