Rewarding Sequential Innovators: Prizes, Patents, and Buyouts
AbstractThis paper presents a model of cumulative innovation in which firms are heterogeneous in their research ability. We study the optimal reward policy when the quality of the ideas and their subsequent development effort are private information. Monopoly power is a scarce resource to be allocated across innovators who arrive at various times. The optimal assignment of property rights must counterbalance the incentives of current and future innovators. The resulting mechanism resembles a menu of patents that have infinite duration and fixed scope. This optimal patent menu can be implemented with a simple buyout scheme: The innovator commits at the outset to a price ceiling at which he will sell his rights to a future inventor. When a larger fee is paid initially, a higher price ceiling is obtained. Any subsequent innovator must pay this price and purchase his own buyout fee contract. We relate this mechanism to the proposed compulsory licensing schemes.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 114 (2006)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/
Other versions of this item:
- Llobet, G. & Hopenhayn, H. & Mitchell, M., 2000. "Rewarding Sequential Innovators: Prizes, Patents and Buyouts," Papers 0012, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
- Gerard Llobet & Hugo Hopenhayn & Matthew Mitchell, 2003. "Rewarding Sequential Innovators: Prizes, Patents and Buyouts," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000682, David K. Levine.
- Gerard Llobet & Hugo Hopenhayn & Matthew F. Mitchell, 2000. "Rewarding sequential innovators: prizes, patents and buyouts," Staff Report 273, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
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