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Prizes and patents: using market signals to provide incentives for innovations

Author

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  • V. V. Chari
  • Mikhail Golosov
  • Aleh Tsyvinski

Abstract

Innovative activities have public good characteristics in the sense that the cost of producing the innovation is high compared to the cost of producing subsequent units. Moreover, knowledge of how to produce subsequent units is widely known once the innovation has occurred and is, therefore, non-rivalrous. The main question of this paper is whether mechanisms can be found which exploit market information to provide appropriate incentives for innovation. The ability of the mechanism designer to exploit such information depends crucially on the ability of the innovator to manipulate market signals. We show that if the innovator cannot manipulate market signals, then the efficient levels of innovation can be implemented without deadweight losses - for example, by using appropriately designed prizes. If the innovator can use bribes, buybacks, or other ways of manipulating market signals, patents are necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • V. V. Chari & Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2009. "Prizes and patents: using market signals to provide incentives for innovations," Working Papers 673, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:673
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    Cited by:

    1. Galasso, Alberto, 2020. "Rewards versus intellectual property rights when commitment is limited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 397-411.
    2. Stefanie Stantcheva, 2015. "Optimal Taxation and R&D Policies," 2015 Meeting Papers 1533, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Galasso, Alberto & Mitchell, Matthew & Virag, Gabor, 2018. "A theory of grand innovation prizes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 343-362.
    4. Onur Bayar & Thomas J. Chemmanur & Mark H. Liu, "undated". "How to Motivate Fundamental Innovation: Subsidies versus Prizes and the Role of Venture Capital," Working Papers 0175fin, College of Business, University of Texas at San Antonio, revised 06 Jan 2016.
    5. Mitchell, Matthew & Zhang, Yuzhe, 2012. "Shared Rights and Technological Progress," MPRA Paper 36537, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Tom Nicholas, 2013. "Hybrid Innovation In Meiji, Japan," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(2), pages 575-600, May.
    7. Matthew Mitchell & Yuzhe Zhang, 2015. "Shared Patent Rights And Technological Progress," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56(1), pages 95-132, February.
    8. Michael Kremer & Heidi Williams, 2010. "Incentivizing Innovation: Adding to the Tool Kit," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 10, pages 1-17, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Petra Moser & Tom Nicholas, 2013. "Prizes, Publicity and Patents: Non-Monetary Awards as a Mechanism to Encourage Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 763-788, September.
    10. Ugur, Mehmet & Trushin, Eshref, 2021. "Information asymmetry, risk aversion and R&D subsidies: Effect-size heterogeneity and policy conundrums," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 32224, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
    11. Galasso, Alberto & Mitchell, Matthew & Virag, Gabor, 2016. "Market outcomes and dynamic patent buyouts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 207-243.
    12. Burton, M. Diane & Nicholas, Tom, 2017. "Prizes, patents and the search for longitude," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 21-36.
    13. Brueggemann, Julia & Meub, Lukas, 2015. "Experimental evidence on the effects of innovation contests," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 251, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    14. Acemoglu, Daron, 2012. "Introduction to economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 545-550.
    15. Brüggemann, Julia & Meub, Lukas, 2017. "Experimental evidence on the effects of innovation contests," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 72-83.
    16. Skliaustyte, Egle & Weber, Matthias, 2021. "Subsidies or Tax Breaks Versus Intellectual Property Rights: Dual Markets," SocArXiv x87fy, Center for Open Science.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods; Patents;

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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