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Semiotica, diritto e mercato. Economia del marchio nel terzo millenio

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  • Ramello, Giovanni B.

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Abstract

This article is aimed at providing an answer from the economics perspective to the puzzling Shakespearean question "What's in a name ?", specifically paying attention to the case of trademark, a commercial device used since antiquity and continuously expanding its boundaries. Its advent is connected with the problem of information asymmetries and the need to provide information for assisting exchanges so as to avert the market failure brought about by adverse selection. However, this information-conveying function has soon been accompanied by a differentiation effect, arising from the peculiar power that signs can exert on individuals' preferences. The pragmatic exploitation of differentiation has today given rise to the practice of branding, which ties markets and consumption to the realms of meaning and experience. Further, branding is so all-pervasive in today's economy as to have somehow transfigured the relationships between signs and goods, to the point that trademark has become a sort of property right over semantic products. On the whole this is opening the door to what could be termed the new economy of signs and meanings that should be still investigated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS in its series POLIS Working Papers with number 102.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uca:ucapdv:102

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  1. Klemperer, Paul, 1995. "Competition When Consumers Have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 515-39, October.
  2. Luis Cabral, 2000. "Stretching Firm and Brand Reputation," Working Papers 00-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. Baroncelli, Eugenia & Kink, Carsten & Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata, 2004. "The global distribution of trademarks - some stylized facts," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3270, The World Bank.
  4. F. M. Scherer, 2004. "A Note on Global Welfare in Pharmaceutical Patenting," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(7), pages 1127-1142, 07.
  5. Giovanni B. Ramello & Francesco Silva, 2006. "Appropriating signs and meaning: the elusive economics of trademark," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(6), pages 937-963, December.
  6. Pil Choi, J., 1997. "Brand Extension as Informational Leverage," ISER Discussion Paper 0451, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  7. Michael D. Whinston, 1989. "Tying, Foreclosure, and Exclusion," NBER Working Papers 2995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lynne M. Pepall, 2002. "The Simple Economics of Brand Stretching," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(3), pages 535-552, July.
  9. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  10. Ramello, Giovanni, 2006. "What's in a sign? Trademark law and enconomic theory," POLIS Working Papers 67, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  11. Jarrell, Gregg & Peltzman, Sam, 1985. "The Impact of Product Recalls on the Wealth of Sellers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 512-36, June.
  12. De Alessi, Louis & Staaf, Robert J, 1994. "What Does Reputation Really Assure? The Relationship of Trademarks to Expectations and Legal Remedies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(3), pages 477-85, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Piero Cavaleri & Michael Keren & Giovanni B. Ramello & Vittorio Valli, 2009. "Publishing an E-Journal on a Shoe String: Is It a Sustainable Project?," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 39(1), pages 89-101, March.
  2. Marchese, Carla, 2008. "The limits to growth then and now," POLIS Working Papers 105, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.

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