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Patents and R&D as Real Options

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  • Eduardo S. Schwartz
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    Abstract

    This article develops and implements a simulation approach to value patents and patent-protected R&D projects based on the Real Options approach. It takes into account uncertainty in the cost-to-completion of the project, uncertainty in the cash flows to be generated from the project, and the possibility of catastrophic events that could put an end to the effort before it is completed. It also allows for the possibility of abandoning the project when costs turn out to be larger than expected or when estimated cash flows turn out to be smaller than anticipated. This abandonment option represents a very substantial part of the project's value when the project is marginal or/and when uncertainty is large. The model presented can be used to evaluate the effects of regulation on the cost of innovation and the amount on innovative output. The main focus of the article is the pharmaceutical industry. The framework, however, applies just as well to other research-intensive industries such as software or hardware development.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10114.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10114.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10114

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    1. Nancy Gallini & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2002. "Intellectual Property: When Is It the Best Incentive System?," Law and Economics 0201001, EconWPA.
    2. Paddock, James L & Siegel, Daniel R & Smith, James L, 1988. "Option Valuation of Claims on Real Assets: The Case of Offshore Petroleum Leases," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 479-508, August.
    3. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2000. "Patents, productivity and market value: evidence from a panel of UK firms," IFS Working Papers W00/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Henry Grabowski & John Vernon, 1990. "A New Look at the Returns and Risks to Pharmaceutical R&D," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(7), pages 804-821, July.
    5. Ariel Pakes, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," NBER Working Papers 1340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Rebecca Henderson & Iain Cockburn, . "Scale, Scope and Spillovers: The Determinants of Research Productivity in Drug Discovery," Working Papers ec25/94, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
    7. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
    8. Robert S. Pindyck, 1993. "Investments of Uncertain Cost," NBER Working Papers 4175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-57, April.
    10. Schankerman, Mark & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2001. "Damages and Injunctions in Protecting Intellectual Property," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 199-220, Spring.
    11. Schwartz, Eduardo S & Moon, Mark, 2001. "Rational Pricing of Internet Companies Revisited," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 7-25, November.
    12. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 129-51, Spring.
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    Cited by:
    1. Nicholas Bloom, 2007. "Uncertainty and the Dynamics of R&D," Discussion Papers 07-021, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    2. Adriana Breccia & Hector Salgado-Banda, 2005. "Competing or Colluding in a Stochastic Framework," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0504, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    3. Adriana Breccia & Hector Salgado-Banda, 2006. "Competing or Colluding in a Stochastic Environment," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 423, Society for Computational Economics.
    4. Edson Gonçalves, 2006. "Prospecção Para Biodiversidade: Uma Abordagem Via Opções Reais," Anais do XXXIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 34th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 112, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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