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Science versus Profit in Research: Lessons from the Human Genome Project


  • Carraro, Carlo
  • Pomè, Alessandra
  • Siniscalco, Domenico


This Paper elaborates on the recent race to sequence the human genome. Starting from the debate arising from the genome case on public versus private research, the Paper shows that in some fundamental research areas, where knowledge externalities play an important role, market and non-market allocation mechanisms do coexist and should coexist in order to ensure socially desirable achievements. A game-theoretic model makes it possible to demonstrate the above results and to characterize some features of an optimal research policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Carraro, Carlo & Pomè, Alessandra & Siniscalco, Domenico, 2001. "Science versus Profit in Research: Lessons from the Human Genome Project," CEPR Discussion Papers 2890, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2890

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Claude d'Aspremont & Alexis Jacquemin & Jean Jaskold Gabszewicz & John A. Weymark, 1983. "On the Stability of Collusive Price Leadership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 17-25, February.
    2. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1993. "Strategies for the international protection of the environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 309-328, October.
    3. Yi, Sang-Seung, 1997. "Stable Coalition Structures with Externalities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 201-237, August.
    4. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-293, June.
    6. Dasgupta, Partha & David, Paul, 1985. "Information Disclosure and the Economics of Science and Technology," CEPR Discussion Papers 73, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mario Calderini & Chiara Franzoni, 2004. "Is academic patenting detrimental to high quality research? An empirical analysis of the relationship between scientific careers and patent applications," KITeS Working Papers 162, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Oct 2004.

    More about this item


    allocation mechanisms; intellectual property rights; science; technology; welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy


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