IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Incentives to innovate and social harm: Laissez-faire, authorization or penalties?

  • Immordino, Giovanni
  • Pagano, Marco
  • Polo, Michele

When firms' research can lead to potentially harmful innovations, public intervention may thwart their incentives to undertake research by reducing its expected profitability (average deterrence) and may guide the use of innovation (marginal deterrence). We compare four policy regimes: laissez faire, ex-post penalties and two forms of authorization – lenient and strict. If fines are unbounded, laissez faire is optimal if the social harm from innovation is sufficiently unlikely; otherwise, regulation should impose increasing penalties as innovation becomes more dangerous. If fines are bounded by limited liability, for intermediate levels of expected social harm it is optimal to adopt (indifferently) penalties or lenient authorization, while strict authorization becomes optimal if social harm is sufficiently likely.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272711000156
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 864-876

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7:p:864-876
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Immordino, Giovanni & Pagano, Marco, 2008. "Legal Standards, Enforcement and Corruption," CEPR Discussion Papers 7071, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ilya Segal & Michael D. Whinston, 2007. "Antitrust in Innovative Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1703-1730, December.
  4. Grabowski, Henry G & Vernon, John M & Thomas, Lacy Glenn, 1978. "Estimating the Effects of Regulation on Innovation: An International Comparative Analysis of the Pharmaceutical Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 133-63, April.
  5. Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2009. "An Activity-Generating Theory of Regulation," NBER Working Papers 14752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "The Rise of the Regulatory State," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1934, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Tomas J. Philipson & Eric Sun, 2008. "Is the Food And Drug Administration Safe And Effective?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 85-102, Winter.
  8. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  9. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1289-1332, November.
  10. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
  11. Shavell, Steven, 2007. "Do excessive legal standards discourage desirable activity?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 394-397, June.
  12. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
  14. Loury, Glenn C, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410, August.
  15. Gual, Jordi & Hellwig, Martin F. & Perrot, Anne & Polo, Michele & Rey, Patrick & Schmidt, Klaus M. & Stenbacka, Rune, 2005. "An Economic Approach to Article 82," Discussion Papers in Economics 745, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1994. "Marginal Deterrence in Enforcement of Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 1039-66, October.
  17. Tomas J. Philipson & Eric C. Sun & Dana Goldman, 2009. "The Effects of Product Liability Exemption in the Presence of the FDA," NBER Working Papers 15603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Armstrong, Mark & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  19. Kaplow, Louis, 1995. "A Model of the Optimal Complexity of Legal Rules," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 150-63, April.
  20. Shavell, Steven, 1992. "A note on marginal deterrence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 345-355, September.
  21. Giovanni Immordino & Michele Polo, 2008. "Judicial Errors, Legal Standards and Innovative Activity," CSEF Working Papers 196, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 04 Jun 2010.
  22. Thierry Verdier & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "The Choice between Market Failures and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 194-211, March.
  23. Banerjee, A.V., 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," Working papers 97-4, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  24. Stigler, George J, 1970. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(3), pages 526-36, May-June.
  25. Lee, Tom & Wilde, Louis L, 1980. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Reformulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 429-36, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7:p:864-876. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.