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Patent Protection and Innovation Over 150 Years

  • Josh Lerner

The paper seeks to understand the impact of the patent system on innovation by examining shifts in the strength of patent protection across sixty countries and a 150-year period. An examination of 177 policy changes reveals that strengthening patent protection appears to have few positive effects on patent applications by entities in the country undertaking the policy change, whether filings in Great Britain or the nation making the policy change are considered. Cross-sectional analyses suggest that the impact of patent protection-enhancing shifts were greater in nations with weaker initial protection and greater economic development, consistent with economic theory. I address concerns about the endogeneity of these changes by employing an instrumental variable approach.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8977.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8977.

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Date of creation: Jun 2002
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Publication status: published as Lerner, Josh. "150 Years Of Patent Protection," American Economic Review, 2002, v92(2,May), 221-225.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8977
Note: CF PR
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  1. Waterson, Michael, 1990. "The Economics of Product Patents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 860-69, September.
  2. Shavell, Steven & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2001. "Rewards versus Intellectual Property Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 525-47, October.
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  4. Josh Lerner, 2003. "150 Years of Patent Protection," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000587, David K. Levine.
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  6. Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2001. "The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1383g11z, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Eckbo, B Espen & Maksimovic, Vojislav & Williams, Joseph, 1990. "Consistent Estimation of Cross-Sectional Models in Event Studies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(3), pages 343-65.
  8. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Ginarte, Juan C. & Park, Walter G., 1997. "Determinants of patent rights: A cross-national study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 283-301, October.
  12. Horowitz, Andrew W & Lai, Edwin L-C, 1996. "Patent Length and the Rate of Innovation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 785-801, November.
  13. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1998. "Stronger protection or technological revolution: what is behind the recent surge in patenting?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 247-304, June.
  14. Klemperer, Paul, 1990. "How Broad Should the Scope of Patent Protection Be?," CEPR Discussion Papers 392, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Michael Kremer, 1997. "Patent Buy-Outs: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation," NBER Working Papers 6304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Kremer, Michael R., 1998. "Patent Buyouts: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation," Scholarly Articles 3693705, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  20. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Deardorff, Alan V, 1992. "Welfare Effects of Global Patent Protection," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 35-51, February.
  22. Keith Maskus, 1998. "The international regulation of intellectual property," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 134(2), pages 186-208, June.
  23. Wright, Brian Davern, 1983. "The Economics of Invention Incentives: Patents, Prizes, and Research Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 691-707, September.
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  25. Jean O. Lanjouw, 1998. "The Introduction of Pharmaceutical Product Patents in India: "Heartless Exploitation of the Poor and Suffering"?," NBER Working Papers 6366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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