IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mlb/wpaper/1035.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Scarcity of Ideas and Options to Invest in R&D

Author

Listed:
  • Nisvan Erkal
  • Suzanne Scotchmer

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Nisvan Erkal & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2008. "Scarcity of Ideas and Options to Invest in R&D," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1035, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1035
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/802711/1035.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert M. Hunt, 2004. "Patentability, Industry Structure, and Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 401-425, September.
    2. 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, March.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Nisvan Erkal & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2009. "Scarcity of Ideas and R&D Options: Use it, Lose it or Bank it," NBER Working Papers 14940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Suzanne Scotchmer, 2013. "Patents in the University: Priming the Pump and Crowding Out," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 817-844, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ideas; patents; intellectual property; innovation; options; nonobviousness;

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • L00 - Industrial Organization - - General - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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: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: (Dandapani Lokanathan). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/demelau.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.