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Procuring Knowledge

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  • Stephen M. Maurer
  • Suzanne Scotchmer

Abstract

There is growing public interest in alternatives to intellectual property including, but not limited to, prizes and government grants. We argue that there is no single best mechanism for supporting research. Rather, mechanisms can only be compared within specific creative environments. We collect various historical and contemporary examples of alternative incentives, and relate them to models of the creative process. We give an explanation for why federally funded R&D has moved from an intramural activity to largely a grant process. Finally, we observe that much research is supported by a hybrid system of public and private sponsorship, and explain why this makes sense in some circumstances.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen M. Maurer & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2003. "Procuring Knowledge," NBER Working Papers 9903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9903
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nancy Gallini & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2002. "Intellectual Property: When Is It the Best Incentive System?," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 2, pages 51-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kremer, Michael R., 1998. "Patent Buyouts: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation," Scholarly Articles 3693705, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. William P. Rogerson, 1994. "Economic Incentives and the Defense Procurement Process," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 65-90, Fall.
    4. Shavell, Steven & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2001. "Rewards versus Intellectual Property Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 525-547, October.
    5. Paul A. David, 2005. "The Economic Logic of “Open Science” and the Balance between Private Property Rights and the Public Domain in Scientific Data and," Development and Comp Systems 0502006, EconWPA.
    6. 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.
    7. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1999. "On the Optimality of the Patent Renewal System," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 181-196, Summer.
    8. Michael Kremer, 1997. "Patent Buy-Outs: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation," NBER Working Papers 6304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Michael Kremer, 1998. "Patent Buyouts: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1137-1167.
    10. Marie Thursby & Richard Jensen, 2001. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Licensing of University Inventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 240-259, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Münster, Johannes, 2006. "Contests with Investment," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 120, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    2. Newell, Richard & Wilson, Nathan, 2005. "Technology Prizes for Climate Change Mitigation," Discussion Papers dp-05-33, Resources For the Future.
    3. Julio R. Robledo, 2005. "The Effect of Litigation on Intellectual Property and Welfare," Vienna Economics Papers 0511, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    4. Johannes Münster, 2007. "Contests with investment," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(8), pages 849-862.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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