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Incentives to Innovate and Social Harm: Laissez-Faire, Authorization or Penalties?

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Abstract

We analyze optimal policy design when firms' research activity may lead to socially harmful innovations. Public intervention, affecting the expected profitability of innovation, may both thwart the incentives to undertake research (average deterrence) and guide the use to which innovation is put (marginal deterrence). We show that public intervention should become increasingly stringent as the probability of social harm increases, switching first from laissez-faire to a penalty regime, then to a lenient authorization regime, and finally to a strict one. In contrast, absent innovative activity, regulation should rely only on authorizations, and laissez-faire is never optimal. Therefore, in innovative industries regulation should be softer.

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  • Giovanni Immordino & Marco Pagano & Michele Polo, 2009. "Incentives to Innovate and Social Harm: Laissez-Faire, Authorization or Penalties?," CSEF Working Papers 220, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:220
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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli & Giovanni Immordino & Alessandro Riboni, 2013. "Legal Institutions, Innovation, And Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 937-956, August.
    2. Julien Jacob, 2015. "Innovation in Risky Industries under Liability Law: The Case of Double-Impact Innovations," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 171(3), pages 385-404, September.
    3. Giovanni Immordino & Michele Polo, 2012. "Antitrust in Innovative Industries: the Optimal Legal Standards," Working Papers 434, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    4. Giovanni Immordino & Michele Polo, 2014. "Public Policies in Investment-Intensive Industries," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Martin Peitz & Yossi Spiegel (ed.), THE ANALYSIS OF COMPETITION POLICY AND SECTORAL REGULATION, chapter 13, pages 365-388, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "An Activity-Generating Theory of Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(1), pages 1-38.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7722 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Immordino, Giovanni & Polo, Michele, 2014. "Antitrust, legal standards and investment," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 36-50.
    8. John Romley & Tiffany Shih, 2017. "Product safety spillovers and market viability for biologic drugs," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 135-158, June.
    9. Friehe, Tim & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2017. "Uncertain product risk, information acquisition, and product liability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 92-95.
    10. Ilke Onur & Magnus Söderberg, 2020. "The impact of regulatory review time on incremental and radical innovation: evidence from the high-risk medical device market," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 134-158, April.
    11. Magda Bianco & Giulio Napolitano, 2011. "The Italian Administrative System: Why a Source of Competitive Disadvantage?," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 24, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    12. Giovanni Immordino & Michele Polo, 2011. "Optimal Legal Standards in Antitrust: Traditional v. Innovative Industries," Working Papers 420, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    innovation; liability for harm; safety regulation; authorization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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