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Appropriability, Patents, and Rates of Innovation in Complex Products Industries

  • Luigi Marengo
  • Corrado Pasquali
  • Marco Valente
  • Giovanni Dosi

The economic theory of intellectual property rights is based on a rather narrow view of both competition and technological knowledge. We suggest some ways of enriching this framework with a more empirically grounded view of both and, by means of a simulation model, we analyze the impact of different property right regimes on the dynamics of a complex product industry, that is an industry where products are complex multi-component objects and competition takes place mainly through differentiation and component innovation. We show that, as the complexity of the product spaces increases, stronger patent regimes yield lower rates of innovation, lower product quality and lower consumers' welfare. localized ones.

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Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2009/05.

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Date of creation: 07 Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2009/05
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  1. Bronwyn Hall, 2004. "Exploring the patent explosion," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp291, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
  2. Simon P. Anderson & Andre de Palma & Jacques-Francois Thisse, 1987. "Demand for Differentiated Products," Discussion Papers 726, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Marengo, Luigi & Dosi, Giovanni, 2005. "Division of labor, organizational coordination and market mechanisms in collective problem-solving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 303-326, October.
  4. Teece, David J., 1993. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 112-113, April.
  5. Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Innovating firms and aggregate innovation," Staff Report 300, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
  7. Michele Boldrin & David Levine, 2002. "The Case Against Intellectual Property," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 209-212, May.
  8. Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
  9. repec:fiu:wpaper:0303 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  11. Nancy T. Gallini, 2002. "The Economics of Patents: Lessons from Recent U.S. Patent Reform," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 131-154, Spring.
  12. Giovanni Dosi & Luigi Marengo & Corrado Pasquali, 2010. "How Much Should Society Fuel the Greed of Innovators? On the Relations between Appropriability, Opportunities and Rates of Innovation," Chapters, in: The Capitalization of Knowledge, chapter 4 Edward Elgar.
  13. James Bessen & Eric Maskin, 2009. "Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 611-635.
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