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Does Intellectual Monopoly Help Innovation

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  • Michele Boldrin
  • David K Levine

Abstract

In this paper, we begin our analysis of copyrights and patents by asking: why should creators have the right to control how purchasers make use of an idea or new good? This gives creators a monopoly over the idea. We refer to this right as intellectual monopoly, to emphasize that it is this monopoly over all copies of an idea that is controversial, not the right to buy and sell copies. The government does not ordinarily enforce monopolies for producers of other goods. This is because it is widely recognized that monopoly creates many social costs. Intellectual monopoly is no different in this respect. The question we address is whether it also creates social benefits commensurate with these social costs.
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  • Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2009. "Does Intellectual Monopoly Help Innovation," Levine's Bibliography 814577000000000423, UCLA Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:814577000000000423
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Petra Moser, 2005. "How Do Patent Laws Influence Innovation? Evidence from Nineteenth-Century World's Fairs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1214-1236, September.
    3. Adam B. Jaffe & Josh Lerner, 2006. "Innovation and its Discontents," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 27-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Nancy Gallini & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2002. "Intellectual Property: When Is It the Best Incentive System?," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 2, pages 51-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michele Boldrin & David Levine, 2002. "The Case Against Intellectual Property," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 209-212, May.
    6. Boldrin,Michele & Levine,David K., 2010. "Against Intellectual Monopoly," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521127264.
    7. Schankerman, Mark & Pakes, Ariel, 1986. "Estimates of the Value of Patent Rights in European Countries during the Post-1950 Period," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1052-1076, December.
    8. Michael Kremer, 2001. "Creating Markets for New Vaccines - Part II: Design Issues," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 73-118 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    10. David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2002. "Some Economic Aspects of Antitrust Analysis in Dynamically Competitive Industries," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 2, pages 1-50 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2005. "IP and Market Size," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000836, David K. Levine.
    12. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2008. "Appropriation and Intellectual Property," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002262, David K. Levine.
    13. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2004. "The Economics of Ideas and Intellectual Property," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000631, David K. Levine.
    14. Charles Engel, 2003. "Expenditure Switching and Exchange-Rate Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 231-300 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Christine MacLeod & Alessandro Nuvolari, 2016. "Inventive Activities, Patents and Early Industrialisation: A Synthesis of Research Issues," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 77-108.
    16. Mark A Lemley, 2004. "Ex Ante versus Ex Post Justifications for Intellectual Property," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000492, David K. Levine.
    17. George Selgin & John Turner, 2006. "James Watt As Intellectual Monopolist: Comment On Boldrin And Levine," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1341-1348, November.
    18. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Heinrich, Torsten, 2014. "Standard wars, tied standards, and network externality induced path dependence in the ICT sector," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 309-320.
    2. Domicián Máté, 2015. "An analysis of the determinants of labour productivity in financial sectors in the context of intellectual property rights," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 14(3), pages 88-105.
    3. repec:cbh:journl:v:14:y:2015:i:3:p:88-105 is not listed on IDEAS

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