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Privatization of Knowledge: Did the U.S. Get It Right?

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  • Cozzi, Guido

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  • Galli, Silvia

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Abstract

To foster innovation and growth should basic research be publicly or privately funded? This paper studies the impact of the gradual shift in the U.S. patent system towards the patentability and commercialization of the basic R&D undertaken by universities. We see this movement as making universities becoming responsive to "market" forces. Prior to 1980, universities undertook research using an exogenous stock of researchers motivated by "curiosity." After 1980, universities patent their research and behave as private firms. This move, in a context of two-stage inventions (basic and applied research) has an a priori ambiguous effect on innovation and welfare. We build a Schumpeterian model and match it to the data to assess this important turning point.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1307.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2013:07

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Keywords: R&D and Growth; Sequential Innovation; Basic Research; Patent Laws;

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References

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  1. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Farrell, Joseph & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1988. "Partnerships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 279-97, May.
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  4. Charles I. Jones & John C. Williams, . "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Working Papers 96005, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  5. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1981. "The Real Interest Rate: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 0622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bramoullé, Yann & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2006. "Research Cycles," IDEI Working Papers 422, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  7. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  8. Peretto, Pietro F, 1998. " Technological Change and Population Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 283-311, December.
  9. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1985. "A two-stage model of research and development with endogenous second-mover advantages," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 275-292, September.
  11. Jakob Madsen, 2008. "Semi-endogenous versus Schumpeterian growth models: testing the knowledge production function using international data," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 1-26, March.
  12. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  13. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Hans Gersbach & Maik T. Schneider, 2013. "On the Global Supply of Basic Research," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 13/175, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  2. Tetsugen Haruyama, 2009. "Competitive Innovation With Codified And Tacit Knowledge," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(s1), pages 390-414, 09.
  3. Guido Cozzi & Silvia Galli, 2009. "Upstream Innovation Protection: Common Law Evolution and the Dynamics of Wage Inequality," Working Papers 2009_20, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.

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