By the same authors

The Optimal Duration of Equity Joint Ventures: Department of Economics Discussion Paper 11/26

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper



Publication details

DatePublished - 2011
Number of pages13
Original languageEnglish


Whilst joint ventures offer a potentially attractive form of corporate and industrial organisation, they also experience high rate of break-up within ten years from their initial formation. In this paper, we model this process not as an uncertain random event, but rather as the predictable outcome of underlying economic variables, with break-up within a finite time resulting even under conditions of complete certainty. Given the prevalence of joint venture break-ups, it is in the interests of both partners in an equity joint venture to be fully aware of their own optimal durations of the joint venture in their initial negotiations for the formation of the equity joint venture. Where the underlying economic parameters imply differences in their individual optimal durations of the joint venture, there is therefore scope for mutually beneficial agreements on a binding date for the break-up of the joint venture, and for side payments to enable this binding agreement to be reached, either as cash payments or in terms of their relative shareholdings in the jointly-owned separate company that will manage the equity joint venture. In addition, there is scope for a differential corporate tax rate on the joint venture, compared to that on the go-it-alone businesses of the two partners, in order bring the two partners’ privately optimal durations into line with the socially optimal duration of the joint venture.

Bibliographical note

An updated version has now been published under the title "Increasing Returns, Knowledge Transfers and the Optimal Duration of Equity Joint Ventures" in the University of York Discussion Papers in Economics series No. 12/09 and is currently submitted to the Journal of Industrial Economics.

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