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Inducement Prizes and Innovation

  • Brunt, Liam

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Lerner, Josh

    (Harvard Business School)

  • Nicholas, Tom

    (Harvard Business School)

Registered author(s):

    We examine the effect of prizes on innovation using data on awards for technological development offered by the Royal Agricultural Society of England at annual competitions between 1839 and 1939. We find large effects of the prizes on competitive entry and we also detect an impact of the prizes on the quality of contemporaneous patents, especially when prize categories were set by a strict rotation scheme, thereby mitigating the potentially confounding effect that they targeted only “hot” technology sectors. Prizes encouraged competition and medals were more important than monetary awards. The boost to innovation we observe cannot be explained by the re-direction of existing inventive activity.

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    File URL: http://www.nhh.no/Admin/Public/DWSDownload.aspx?File=%2fFiles%2fFiler%2finstitutter%2fsam%2fDiscussion+papers%2f2011%2f25.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Paper Series in Economics with number 25/2011.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: 15 Dec 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2011_025
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    7. Michael Kremer & Heidi Williams, 2010. "Incentivizing Innovation: Adding to the Tool Kit," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(1), pages 1 - 17.
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    15. Christine MacLeod & Jennifer Tann & James Andrew & Jeremy Stein, 2003. "Evaluating inventive activity: the cost of nineteenth-century UK patents and the fallibility of renewal data," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(3), pages 537-562, 08.
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    19. Kremer, Michael R., 1998. "Patent Buyouts: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation," Scholarly Articles 3693705, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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