IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Materialistic Genius and Market Power: Uncovering the best innovations


  • Tirole, Jean
  • Weyl, Glen


What is the best way to reward innovation? While prizes avoid deadweight loss, intellectual property screens out projects generating low consumer surplus per unit sold. We build a model that formalizes this trade-off and develop tools for solving the resulting multidimensional screening problem. Optimal policy generally calls for some market power but never full monopoly pricing. The appropriate degree of market power is determined by a value-weighted average of the innovation supply elasticity multiplied by the log-variance of innovation quality. This quantifies the value of the materialistic genius long associated with entrepreneurship, opening it to empirical calibration. Our results also apply to the pricing of platforms and public infrastructure.

Suggested Citation

  • Tirole, Jean & Weyl, Glen, 2010. "Materialistic Genius and Market Power: Uncovering the best innovations," IDEI Working Papers 629, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:23108

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
    2. Rabah Amir, 2005. "Supermodularity and Complementarity in Economics: An Elementary Survey," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 636-660, January.
    3. Winfried Pohlmeier & Luc Bauwens & David Veredas, 2007. "High frequency financial econometrics. Recent developments," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/136223, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. S. Darolles & Y. Fan & J. P. Florens & E. Renault, 2011. "Nonparametric Instrumental Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1541-1565, September.
    5. Johannes, Jan & Van Bellegem, Sébastien & Vanhems, Anne, 2011. "Convergence Rates For Ill-Posed Inverse Problems With An Unknown Operator," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(03), pages 522-545, June.
    6. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Working Papers 834, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Alexander White & E. Glen Weyl, 2010. "Imperfect Platform Competition: A General Framework," Working Papers 10-17, NET Institute, revised Nov 2010.
    2. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Caruana, Guillermo & Cuñat, Vicente, 2011. "Locating inside the Salop circle: demand rotations in a micro-founded model," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 43163, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Brennan, Timothy J. & Macauley, Molly & Whitefoot, Kate, 2011. "Prizes, Patents, and Technology Procurement: A Proposed Analytical Framework," Discussion Papers dp-11-21-rev, Resources For the Future.
    4. Hugo Hopenhayn & Matthew Mitchell, 2012. "Rewarding Duopoly Innovators: The Price of Exclusivity," NBER Chapters,in: Standards, Patents and Innovations National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:23108. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.