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Reflections on "The Simple Economics of Basic Research": Looking Back and Looking Forwards

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  • Richard Nelson

Abstract

Many of the points argued in this old paper have withstood the tests of time. The economic contribution of basic research is to enable or facilitate downstream invention. The range of inventions that may be facilitated by basic research is unpredictable, but often large. For these reasons, it is desirable that the results of basic research be in the public domain rather than being patented. One major point has turned out not to be fully true. In some cases the results of basic research can be and have been patented. The heart of this essay is an exploration of the problems that have been caused in recent years by the patenting of basic research results, and a consideration of the policy options and appropriate responses.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Nelson, 2006. "Reflections on "The Simple Economics of Basic Research": Looking Back and Looking Forwards," LEM Papers Series 2006/20, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2006/20
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    File URL: http://www.lem.sssup.it/WPLem/files/2006-20.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Dosi, Giovanni & Nelson, Richard R., 2010. "Technical Change and Industrial Dynamics as Evolutionary Processes," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    2. Malik, Tariq H., 2017. "Varieties of capitalism, innovation performance and the transformation of science into exported products: A panel analysis," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 324-333.
    3. Powell, Walter W. & Giannella, Eric, 2010. "Collective Invention and Inventor Networks," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    4. Hammadou, Hakim & Paty, Sonia & Savona, Maria, 2014. "Strategic interactions in public R&D across European countries: A spatial econometric analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1217-1226.
    5. Isabelle Liotard & Valérie Revest, 2015. "Innocentive Un modèle hybride d'innovation basé sur l'appel à la foule et l'Innovation Ouverte," Post-Print halshs-01302451, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Basic research; Science; Public Domain; Patenting; Bayh-Dole;

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