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Should the government protect its basic research?

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  • Cozzi, Guido
  • Galli, Silvia

Abstract

Basic research is mainly performed publicly. Yet in the US public research findings were not patentable until 1980, and in other countries are not yet patentable. Patentability renders public research more directed, with less potential waste, but it also restricts private applied research. This paper shows, by means of a multi-stage Schumpeterian growth model, that in the long run the first effect is bound to dominate.

Suggested Citation

  • Cozzi, Guido & Galli, Silvia, 2017. "Should the government protect its basic research?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 122-124.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:122-124
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2017.06.017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    2. Jones, Charles I & Williams, John C, 2000. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 65-85, March.
    3. Guido Cozzi & Silvia Galli, 2014. "Sequential R&D and blocking patents in the dynamics of growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 183-219, June.
    4. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
    5. Charles I. Jones & John C. Williams, 1998. "Measuring the Social Return to R&D," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1119-1135.
    6. Luca Spinesi, 2013. "Academic and industrial R&D: are they always complementary? A theoretical approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 147-172, January.
    7. Richard R. Nelson, 2006. "Reflections on "The Simple Economics of Basic Scientific Research": looking back and looking forward," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(6), pages 903-917, December.
    8. Nicolas Serrano-Velarde & Douglas Hanley & Ufuk Akcigit, 2012. "Back to Basics: Basic Research Spillovers, Innovation Policy and Growth," 2012 Meeting Papers 665, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Guido Cozzi & Silvia Galli, 2009. "Science-Based R&D In Schumpeterian Growth," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(s1), pages 474-491, September.
    10. Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik T., 2015. "On the global supply of basic research," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 123-137.
    11. Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik & Schneller, Olivier, 2010. "Optimal Mix of Applied and Basic Research, Distance to Frontier, and Openness," CEPR Discussion Papers 7795, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Peter Howitt, 2013. "From Curiosity to Wealth Creation: How University Research can Boost Economic Growth," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 383, June.
    13. Hans Gersbach & Maik Schneider & Olivier Schneller, 2013. "Basic research, openness, and convergence," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 33-68, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    R&D and growth; Sequential innovation; Public R&D; Patent laws;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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