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Intellectual Property and Marketing

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  • Darius Lakdawalla
  • Tomas Philipson
  • Y. Richard Wang

Abstract

Patent protection spurs innovation by raising the rewards for research, but it usually results in less desirable allocations after the innovation has been discovered. In effect, patents reward inventors with inefficient monopoly power. However, previous analysis of intellectual property has focused only on the costs patents impose by restricting price-competition. We analyze the potentially important but overlooked role played by competition on dimensions other than price. Compared to a patent monopoly, competitive firms may engage in inefficient levels of non-price competition -- such as marketing -- when these activities confer benefits on competitors. Patent monopolies may thus price less efficiently, but market more efficiently than competitive firms. We measure the empirical importance of this issue, using patent-expiration data for the US pharmaceutical industry from 1990 to 2003. Contrary to what is predicted by price competition alone, we find that patent expirations actually have a negative effect on output for the first year after expiration. This results from the reduction in marketing effort, which offsets the reduction in price. The short-run decline in output costs consumers at least $400,000 per month, for each drug. In the long-run, however, expirations do raise output, but the value of expiration to consumers is about 15% lower than would be predicted by a model that considers price-competition alone, without marketing effort. The non-standard effects introduced by non-price competition alter the analysis of patents' welfare effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson & Y. Richard Wang, 2006. "Intellectual Property and Marketing," NBER Working Papers 12577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12577
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Duflos, Gautier & Lichtenberg, Frank R., 2012. "Does competition stimulate drug utilization? The impact of changes in market structure on US drug prices, marketing and utilization," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 95-109.
    2. Tomas J. Philipson & Anupam B. Jena, 2005. "Surplus Appropriation from R&D and Health Care Technology Assessment Procedures," Public Economics 0511021, EconWPA.
    3. Lakdawalla, Darius & Sood, Neeraj, 2013. "Health insurance as a two-part pricing contract," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 1-12.
    4. Philipson Tomas J & Jena Anupam B, 2006. "Who Benefits from New Medical Technologies? Estimates of Consumer and Producer Surpluses for HIV/AIDS Drugs," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(2), pages 1-33, January.
    5. Laxminarayan, Ramanan & Parry, Ian W.H. & Smith, David L. & Klein, Eili Y., 2010. "Should new antimalarial drugs be subsidized?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 445-456, May.
    6. Frank R. Lichtenberg & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Does Misery Love Company? Evidence from pharmaceutical markets before and after the Orphan Drug Act," NBER Working Papers 9750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Mansley Edward C & Teutsch Steven M & White Dawn M & Busza Jamie D & Geisel Steven S, 2008. "The Utilization of Medicines beyond Patent Expiration," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-21, November.
    8. Balcet Giovanni & Bruschieri Silvia, 2009. "Indian multinationals in the automotive and the pharmaceutical sectors: competitive advantages and strategies," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200906, University of Turin.
    9. Michael Yuan, 2006. "A better copyright system? comparing welfare of indefinitely renewable copyright versus fixed-length copyright," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(6), pages 519-542.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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