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Patents and R& D as Real Options

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  • Schwartz, Eduardo S.

Abstract

This article develops and implements a simulation approach to value patents and patent-protected R&D projects based on the Real Options approach. It takes into account uncertainty in the cost-to-completion of the project, uncertainty in the cash flows to be generated from the project, and the possibility of catastrophic events that could put an end to the effort before it is completed. It also allows for the possibility of abandoning the project when costs turn out to be larger than expected or when estimated cash flows turn out to be smaller than anticipated. This abandonment option represents a very substantial part of the project’s value when the project is marginal or/and when uncertainty is large. The model presented can be used to evaluate the effects of regulation on the cost of innovation and the amount on innovative output. The main focus of the article is the pharmaceutical industry. The framework, however, applies just as well to other researchintensive industries such as software or hardware development.

Suggested Citation

  • Schwartz, Eduardo S., 2002. "Patents and R& D as Real Options," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt86b1n43k, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:anderf:qt86b1n43k
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    1. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 129-151, Spring.
    2. Schankerman, Mark & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2001. "Damages and Injunctions in Protecting Intellectual Property," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 199-220, Spring.
    3. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-887, September.
    4. Pindyck, Robert S., 1993. "Investments of uncertain cost," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 53-76, August.
    5. Schwartz, Eduardo S & Moon, Mark, 2001. "Rational Pricing of Internet Companies Revisited," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 7-25, November.
    6. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-157, April.
    7. Joseph Dimasi & Henry Grabowski & John Vernon, 1995. "R&D Costs, Innovative Output and Firm Size in the Pharmaceutical Industry," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 201-219.
    8. DiMasi, Joseph A. & Hansen, Ronald W. & Grabowski, Henry G. & Lasagna, Louis, 1991. "Cost of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 107-142, July.
    9. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 2001. "Valuing American Options by Simulation: A Simple Least-Squares Approach," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt43n1k4jb, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
    10. Henry Grabowski & John Vernon, 1990. "A New Look at the Returns and Risks to Pharmaceutical R&D," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(7), pages 804-821, July.
    11. James L. Paddock & Daniel R. Siegel & James L. Smith, 1988. "Option Valuation of Claims on Real Assets: The Case of Offshore Petroleum Leases," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 479-508.
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