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The welfare cost of one-size-fit-all patent protection

  • Chu, Angus C.

To analyze the welfare gain from allowing for differentiated patent protection across sectors, this study develops a two-sector quality-ladder growth model in which patent breadth is a policy variable and derives the optimal patent breadth under two policy regimes. We show that (i) the optimal uniform patent breadth is a weighted average of the optimal sector-specific patent breadth, and (ii) the optimal sector-specific patent breadth is larger in the sector that has a larger market size and more technological opportunities. To derive the optimal policy, we allow for an arbitrary path of patent breadth and derive the optimal path by solving a Stackelberg differential game. We find that the optimal path of patent breadth under each regime is stationary, time-consistent and subgame perfect. Finally, we perform a numerical investigation and find that even a moderate degree of asymmetry across sectors can generate a significant welfare cost of uniform patent protection.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/23286/1/MPRA_paper_23286.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21401.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision: Mar 2010
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21401
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  1. Ted O'Donoghue & Josef Zweimueller, 2004. "Patents in a Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 81-123, 03.
  2. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  3. Karp, Larry & Lee, In Ho, 2000. "Time-Consistent Policies," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt94q3m5mq, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  4. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
  5. Li, Chol-Won, 2001. "On the Policy Implications of Endogenous Technological Progress," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C164-79, May.
  6. Xie, Danyang, 1997. "On Time Inconsistency: A Technical Issue in Stackelberg Differential Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 412-430, October.
  7. Gene M. Grossman & Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2004. "International Protection of Intellectual Property," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1635-1653, December.
  8. Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Growth: With or Without Scale Effects?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 139-144, May.
  9. Chu, Angus C., 2007. "Optimal Patent Breadth: Quantifying the Effects of Increasing Patent Breadth," MPRA Paper 3910, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Cameron, G., 2000. "R&D and Growth at the Industry Level," Economics Papers 2000-w4, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  11. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  12. Chu, Angus C., 2007. "Special Interest Politics and Intellectual Property Rights: An Economic Analysis of Strengthening Patent Protection in the Pharmaceutical Industry," MPRA Paper 4349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Angus Chu, 2010. "Effects of patent length on R&D: a quantitative DGE analysis," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 117-140, March.
  14. Dockner,Engelbert J. & Jorgensen,Steffen & Long,Ngo Van & Sorger,Gerhard, 2000. "Differential Games in Economics and Management Science," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521637329, Junio.
  15. Segerstrom, Paul S & Anant, T C A & Dinopoulos, Elias, 1990. "A Schumpeterian Model of the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1077-91, December.
  16. Futagami, Koichi & Iwaisako, Tatsuro, 2007. "Dynamic analysis of patent policy in an endogenous growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 306-334, January.
  17. Klenow, Peter J., 1996. "Industry innovation: where and why," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 125-150, June.
  18. Cozzi, Guido & Giordani, Paolo E. & Zamparelli, Luca, 2007. "The refoundation of the symmetric equilibrium in Schumpeterian growth models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 788-797, September.
  19. Kwan, Yum K. & Lai, Edwin L. -C., 2003. "Intellectual property rights protection and endogenous economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 853-873, March.
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