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How Do Patents Affect Research Investments?

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  • Heidi L. Williams

Abstract

While patent systems have been widely used both historically and internationally, there is nonetheless a tremendous amount of controversy over whether patent systems – in practice – improve the alignment between private returns and social contributions. In this paper, I describe three parameters – how the disclosure function affects research investments, how patent strength affects research investments in new technologies, and how patents on existing technologies affect follow-on innovation – needed to inform the question of how patents affect research investments, and review the available evidence which has attempted to empirically estimate these parameters.

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  • Heidi L. Williams, 2017. "How Do Patents Affect Research Investments?," NBER Working Papers 23088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23088
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Patrick Gaulé, 2018. "Patents and the Success of Venture‐Capital Backed Startups: Using Examiner Assignment to Estimate Causal Effects," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 350-376, June.
    2. Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," Papers 2001-29, Tel Aviv.
    3. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-784, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nagler, Markus & Sorg, Stefan, 2019. "The Disciplinary Effect of Post-Grant Review," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 155, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    2. Gaessler, Fabian & Wagner, Stefan, 2019. "Patents, Data Exclusivity, and the Development of New Drugs," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 176, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    3. Amitabh Chandra & Courtney Coile & Corina Mommaerts, 2020. "What Can Economics Say About Alzheimer's Disease?," NBER Working Papers 27760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bhaven Sampat & Heidi L. Williams, 2019. "How Do Patents Affect Follow-On Innovation? Evidence from the Human Genome," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(1), pages 203-236, January.
    5. Bhaven N. Sampat, 2018. "A Survey of Empirical Evidence on Patents and Innovation," NBER Working Papers 25383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Anna Chorniy & James Bailey & Abdulkadir Civan & Michael Maloney, 2021. "Regulatory review time and pharmaceutical research and development," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(1), pages 113-128, January.
    7. Nagler, Markus & Sorg, Stefan, 2020. "The disciplinary effect of post-grant review – Causal evidence from European patent opposition," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(3).
    8. Ramesh Chandra Das, 2020. "Interplays among R&D spending, patent and income growth: new empirical evidence from the panel of countries and groups," Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 1-22, December.
    9. Gregory Robson, 2021. "The rationality of political experimentation," Politics, Philosophy & Economics, , vol. 20(1), pages 67-98, February.
    10. Kim, Jinhwan & Valentine, Kristen, 2021. "The innovation consequences of mandatory patent disclosures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2).
    11. Baruffaldi, Stefano H. & Simeth, Markus, 2020. "Patents and knowledge diffusion: The effect of early disclosure," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(4).
    12. Patrick Kline & Neviana Petkova & Heidi Williams & Owen Zidar, 2019. "Who Profits from Patents? Rent-Sharing at Innovative Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(3), pages 1343-1404.
    13. Sonja Lück & Benjamin Balsmeier & Florian Seliger & Lee Fleming, 2020. "Early Disclosure of Invention and Reduced Duplication: An Empirical Test," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(6), pages 2677-2685, June.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • 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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