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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: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/21401/1/MPRA_paper_21401.pdf
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File URL: http://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. Charles I. Jones, . "Growth: With or Without Scale Effects?," Working Papers 99001, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-51, March.
  3. Karp, Larry S. & Lee, In Ho, 2000. "Time-consistent policies," CUDARE Working Paper Series 919, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  4. 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.
  5. Angus C. Chu, 2008. "Special Interest Politics And Intellectual Property Rights: An Economic Analysis Of Strengthening Patent Protection In The Pharmaceutical Industry," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 185-215, 06.
  6. Li, Chol-Won, 2001. "On the Policy Implications of Endogenous Technological Progress," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C164-79, May.
  7. Cameron, G., 2000. "R&D and Growth at the Industry Level," Economics Papers 2000-w4, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  8. Grossman, G.M. & Lai, E., 2001. "International Protection of intellectual Property," Papers 215, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  9. Danyang Xie, 2002. "On Time Inconsistency: A Technical Issue in Stackelberg Differential Games," Macroeconomics 0212004, EconWPA.
  10. Angus C. Chu, 2009. "Effects of Patent Length on R&D: A Quantitative DGE Analysis," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 09-A001, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, revised Dec 2009.
  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. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1989. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," NBER Working Papers 3099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521637329 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. O'Donoghue, Edward & Zweimüller, Josef, 1998. "Patents in a Model of Endogenous Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1951, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Klenow, Peter J., 1996. "Industry innovation: where and why," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 125-150, June.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Angus Chu, 2009. "Effects of blocking patents on R&D: a quantitative DGE analysis," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 55-78, March.
  20. 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.
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