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Intellectual Property: When is it the Best Incentive System?

  • Nancy Gallini
  • Suzanne Scotchmer

Our objective in this paper is to review what economists have said about incentive schemes to promote R&D, including intellectual property. While we focus on environments in which other forms of protection are not available, we note that other protections can obviate the need for any formal reward system. In Section II, we compare intellectual property to alternative incentive schemes. In Section III we review optimal design issues for intellectual property, especially the question of patent breadth, and in Section IV we turn to the special problems that arise when innovation is cumulative. In Section V, we summarize the arguments for and against intellectual property. We comment on whether the design recommendations of economists can actually be implemented, and argue that IP regimes should be designed so that the subject matter of each one has relatively homogeneous needs for protection.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:618897000000000532
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  1. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Paul Klemperer, 1990. "How Broad Should the Scope of Patent Protection Be?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 113-130, Spring.
  3. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Steven Shavell & Tanguy van Ypersele, 1999. "Rewards versus Intellectual Property Rights," NBER Working Papers 6956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Stephen M Maurer & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2003. "The Independent Invention Defense in Intellectual Property," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000544, David K. Levine.
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  12. Carl Shapiro, 2001. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard Setting," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 119-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Minehart, Deborah & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1999. "Ex Post Regret and the Decentralized Sharing of Information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 114-131, April.
  14. Kremer, Michael R., 1998. "Patent Buyouts: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation," Scholarly Articles 3693705, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Nancy T. Gallini & Brian D. Wright, 1990. "Technology Transfer under Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 147-160, Spring.
  16. Francesca Cornelli & Mark Schankerman, 1999. "Patent Renewals and R&D Incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 197-213, Summer.
  17. Michael Kremer, 1997. "Patent Buy-Outs: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation," NBER Working Papers 6304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Michael Kremer, 2001. "Creating Markets for New Vaccines - Part I: Rationale," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 35-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Ted O'Donoghue & Suzanne Scotchmer & Jacques-François Thisse, 1998. "Patent Breadth, Patent Life, and the Pace of Technological Progress," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 1-32, 03.
  20. Suzanne Scotchmer, 2000. "Delegating Investment in a Common-Value Project," Industrial Organization 9912001, EconWPA.
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  22. Denicolo, Vincenzo, 1996. "Patent Races and Optimal Patent Breadth and Length," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 249-65, September.
  23. Gallini, Nancy T, 1984. "Deterrence by Market Sharing: A Strategic Incentive for Licensing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 931-41, December.
  24. Lerner, Josh & Merges, Robert P, 1998. "The Control of Technology Alliances: An Empirical Analysis of the Biotechnology Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 125-56, June.
  25. Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-95, October.
  26. Michael Kremer, 1998. "Patent Buyouts: A Mechanism For Encouraging Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1137-1167, November.
  27. Mukesh Eswaran & Nancy Gallini, 1996. "Patent Policy and the Direction of Technological Change," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 722-746, Winter.
  28. Richard Gilbert & Carl Shapiro, 1990. "Optimal Patent Length and Breadth," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 106-112, Spring.
  29. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1988. "Full Extraction of the Surplus in Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1247-57, November.
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  33. Jerry R. Green & Suzanne Scotchmer, 1995. "On the Division of Profit in Sequential Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(1), pages 20-33, Spring.
  34. Suzanne Scotchmer & Jerry Green, 1990. "Novelty and Disclosure in Patent Law," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 131-146, Spring.
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