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The Chicago Intellectual Property Rights Tradition and the Reconciliation of Coase and Hayek


  • Laurence Moss

    (Babson College)


The paper traces a fairly continuous line of argument about the institutional mechanisms by which intellectual property is produced and maintained in an advanced, commercial society. What the author calls the Chicago intellectual property rights tradition offers a rich and suggestive interpretation of market institutions as alternatives to direct government tax and subsidy schemes. According to Hayek, the pricing system quickly utilizes information that is already in existence. But the speedy diffusion of all commercially valuable information would discourage its production. In my view, a Coasean world dominated by firms that have been established to economize on certain costs associated with the use of the price system can also be a world able to account for investments in the production and maintenance of intellectual property. In this way he offers a reconciliation of Hayek and Coase.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence Moss, 1991. "The Chicago Intellectual Property Rights Tradition and the Reconciliation of Coase and Hayek," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 145-156, Apr-Jun.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:17:y:1991:i:2:p:145-156

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moore, Thomas Gale, 1986. "U.S. Airline Deregulation: Its Effects on Passengers, Capital, and Labor," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Foss Kirsten & Foss Nicolai & Klein Peter G. & Klein Sandra K., 2002. "Heterogeneous Capital, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Organization," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-20, March.

    More about this item


    Intellectual Property Rights; Property Rights; Property;

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals


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