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Patents and Innovation: Evidence from Economic History

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  • Petra Moser

Abstract

What is the optimal system of intellectual property rights to encourage innovation? Empirical evidence from economic history can help to inform important policy questions that have been difficult to answer with modern data: For example, does the existence of strong patent laws encourage innovation? What proportion of innovations is patented? Is this share constant across industries and over time? How does patenting affect the diffusion of knowledge? How effective are prominent mechanisms, such as patent pools and compulsory licensing, that have been proposed to address problems with the patent system? This essay summarizes results of existing research and highlights promising areas for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Petra Moser, 2013. "Patents and Innovation: Evidence from Economic History," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 23-44, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:27:y:2013:i:1:p:23-44
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.27.1.23
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.27.1.23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bittlingmayer, George, 1988. "Property Rights, Progress, and the Aircraft Patent Agreement," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 227-248, April.
    2. Aoki, Reiko & Nagaoka, Sadao, 2004. "The Consortium Standard and Patent Pools," Economic Review, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 55(4), pages 345-357, January.
    3. Dequiedt, Vianney & Versaevel, Bruno, 2013. "Patent pools and dynamic R&D incentives," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 59-69.
    4. Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273, March.
    5. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Boldrin,Michele & Levine,David K., 2010. "Against Intellectual Monopoly," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521127264, April.
    7. Panle Gia & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Shubham Chaudhuri, 2006. "Estimating the Effects of Global Patent Protection in Pharmaceuticals: A Case Study of Quinolones in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1477-1514, December.
    8. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2004. "Little Patents and Big Secrets: Managing Intellectual Property," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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