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IER Lawrence Klein Lecture: The Case Against Intellectual Monopoly

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  • Michele Boldrin
  • David K Levine

Abstract

In the modern theory of growth, monopoly plays a crucial role both as a cause and an effect of innovation. Innovative firms, it is argued, would have insufficient incentive to innovate should the prospect of monopoly power not be present. This theme of monopoly runs throughout the theory of growth, international trade, and industrial organization. We argue that monopoly is neither needed for, nor a necessary consequence of, innovation. In particular, intellectual property is not necessary for, and may hurt more than help, innovation and growth. We argue that, as a practical matter, it is more likely to hurt.
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Suggested Citation

  • Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2003. "IER Lawrence Klein Lecture: The Case Against Intellectual Monopoly," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000493, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:618897000000000493
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Boldrin, Michele & Levine, David K., 2002. "Factor Saving Innovation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 18-41, July.
    8. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
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    10. Edward L. Glaeser & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "The Geographic Concentration of Industry: Does Natural Advantage Explain Agglomeration?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 311-316, May.
    11. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    12. Adam B. Jaffe & Josh Lerner & Scott Stern, 2002. "Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 2," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number jaff02-1.
    13. Hart, Oliver D, 1979. "On Shareholder Unanimity in Large Stock Market Economies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1057-1083, September.
    14. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1999. "How Large are the Social Returns to Education? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," NBER Working Papers 7444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
    16. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Posch, Olaf & Wälde, Klaus, 2005. "Natural volatility, welfare and taxation," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 57, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
    2. Emeric Henry & Carlos J. Ponce, 2008. "Waiting to Copy: On the Dynamics of the Market for Technology," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000030, David K. Levine.
    3. Sami Alpanda & Adrian Peralta-Alva, 2010. "Oil Crisis, Energy-Saving Technological Change and the Stock Market Crash of 1973-74," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(4), pages 824-842, October.
    4. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 146-177, January.
    5. Chowdhury, Prabal Roy, 2005. "Patents and R&D: The tournament effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 120-126, October.
    6. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2005. "IP and Market Size," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000836, David K. Levine.
    7. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2004. "The Economics of Ideas and Intellectual Property," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000631, David K. Levine.
    8. Michele Boldrin & David K. Levine, 2009. "Market Size And Intellectual Property Protection," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(3), pages 855-881, August.
    9. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2008. "Market Structure and Property Rights in Open Source Industries," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002269, David K. Levine.
    10. Raphael Anton Auer & Philip Ulrich Sauré, 2011. "Spatial Competition in Quality, Demand-Induced Innovation, and Schumpeterian Growth," Working Papers 2011-10, Swiss National Bank.
    11. Boldrin, Michele & Levine, David K., 2005. "Innováció - a verseny szemszögéből
      [Innovation: the competitive view]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(6), pages 537-555.
    12. Michele Boldrin & David K. Levine, 2005. "Intellectual property and market size," Staff Report 360, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    13. Liebowitz, Stan J, 2006. "File Sharing: Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 1-28, April.
    14. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2005. "Intellectual Property and the Efficient Allocation of Surplus from Creation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000925, David K. Levine.
    15. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:1:p:160-174 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. David K Levine, 2018. "Imitation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000001441, David K. Levine.
    17. Michele Boldrin & David K. Levine, 2006. "Growth and Intellectual Property," NBER Working Papers 12769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2006. "Intellectual Property and the Efficient Allocation of Surplus from Innovations," Levine's Working Paper Archive 784828000000000690, David K. Levine.

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