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IER Lawrence Klein Lecture: The Case Against Intellectual Monopoly

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  • Michele Boldrin
  • David K Levine

Abstract

In the modern theory of growth, monopoly plays a crucial role both as a cause and an effect of innovation. Innovative firms, it is argued, would have insufficient incentive to innovate should the prospect of monopoly power not be present. This theme of monopoly runs throughout the theory of growth, international trade, and industrial organization. We argue that monopoly is neither needed for, nor a necessary consequence of, innovation. In particular, intellectual property is not necessary for, and may hurt more than help, innovation and growth. We argue that, as a practical matter, it is more likely to hurt.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 618897000000000493.

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Date of creation: 21 Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:618897000000000493

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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-51, March.
  2. Gallini, Nancy & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2001. "Intellectual Property: When Is It the Best Incentive System?," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley qt9wx2c2hz, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ledders In The Theory Of Growth," Papers, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs 148, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
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  9. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1996. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 1426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Edward L. Glaeser & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "The Geographic Concentration of Industry: Does Natural Advantage Explain Agglomeration?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 311-316, May.
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  13. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Adam B. Jaffe & Josh Lerner & Scott Stern, 2002. "Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 2," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number jaff02-1.
  15. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  16. Hart, Oliver D, 1979. "On Shareholder Unanimity in Large Stock Market Economies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1057-83, September.
  17. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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