Scarcity of Ideas and Options to Invest in R&D
We consider a model of the innovative environment where there is a distinction between ideas for R&D investments and the investments themselves. We investigate the optimal reward policy and how it depends on whether ideas are scarce or obvious. By foregoing investment in a current idea, society as a whole preserves an option to invest in a better idea for the same market niche, but with delay. Because successive ideas may occur to different people, there is a conflict between private and social optimality. We argue that private incentives to create socially valuable options can be achieved by giving higher rewards where "ideas are scarce." We then explore how rewards should be structured when the value of an innovation comes from its applications, and ideas for the innovation may be more or less scarce than ideas for the applications.
|Date of creation:||2008|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia|
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/economics
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nisvan Erkal, 2003.
"The Decision to Patent, Cumulative Innovation,and Optimal Policy,"
Department of Economics - Working Papers Series
877, The University of Melbourne.
- Erkal, Nisvan, 2005. "The decision to patent, cumulative innovation, and optimal policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 535-562, September.
- Robert M. Hunt, 2002.
"Patentability, industry structure, and innovation,"
01-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Suzanne Scotchmer, 1996. "Protecting Early Innovators: Should Second-Generation Products Be Patentable?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 322-331, Summer.
- O'DONOGHUE, Ted & SCOTCHMER, Suzanne & THISSE, Jacques-François, "undated".
"Patent breadth, patent life, and the pace of technological progress,"
CORE Discussion Papers RP
1314, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Ted O'Donoghue & Suzanne Scotchmer & Jacques-François Thisse, 1998. "Patent Breadth, Patent Life, and the Pace of Technological Progress," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 1-32, 03.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1035. 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: (Katherine Perez)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.