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Semiotica, diritto e mercato. Economia del marchio nel terzo millenio

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  • Ramello, Giovanni B.

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Abstract

This article is aimed at providing an answer from the economics perspective to the puzzling Shakespearean question "What's in a name ?", specifically paying attention to the case of trademark, a commercial device used since antiquity and continuously expanding its boundaries. Its advent is connected with the problem of information asymmetries and the need to provide information for assisting exchanges so as to avert the market failure brought about by adverse selection. However, this information-conveying function has soon been accompanied by a differentiation effect, arising from the peculiar power that signs can exert on individuals' preferences. The pragmatic exploitation of differentiation has today given rise to the practice of branding, which ties markets and consumption to the realms of meaning and experience. Further, branding is so all-pervasive in today's economy as to have somehow transfigured the relationships between signs and goods, to the point that trademark has become a sort of property right over semantic products. On the whole this is opening the door to what could be termed the new economy of signs and meanings that should be still investigated.

Suggested Citation

  • Ramello, Giovanni B., 2008. "Semiotica, diritto e mercato. Economia del marchio nel terzo millenio," POLIS Working Papers 102, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:uca:ucapdv:102
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eugenia Baroncelli & Carsten Fink & Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2005. "The Global Distribution of Trademarks: Some Stylised Facts," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(6), pages 765-782, June.
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    3. Giovanni B. Ramello & Francesco Silva, 2006. "Appropriating signs and meaning: the elusive economics of trademark," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(6), pages 937-963, December.
    4. Lynne M. Pepall, 2002. "The Simple Economics of Brand Stretching," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(3), pages 535-552, July.
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    6. Jay Pil Choi, 1998. "Brand Extension as Informational Leverage," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(4), pages 655-669.
    7. Whinston, Michael D, 1990. "Tying, Foreclosure, and Exclusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 837-859, September.
    8. De Alessi, Louis & Staaf, Robert J, 1994. "What Does Reputation Really Assure? The Relationship of Trademarks to Expectations and Legal Remedies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(3), pages 477-485, July.
    9. Jarrell, Gregg & Peltzman, Sam, 1985. "The Impact of Product Recalls on the Wealth of Sellers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 512-536, June.
    10. Giovanni B. Ramello, 2006. "What'S In A Sign ? Trademark Law And Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 547-565, September.
    11. F. M. Scherer, 2004. "A Note on Global Welfare in Pharmaceutical Patenting," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(7), pages 1127-1142, July.
    12. Ying Kong & James R. Seldon, 2004. "Pseudo-Generic Products and Barriers to Entry in Pharmaceutical Markets," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 25(1), pages 71-86, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marchese, Carla, 2008. "The limits to growth then and now," POLIS Working Papers 105, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    2. Piero Cavaleri & Michael Keren & Giovanni B. Ramello & Vittorio Valli, 2009. "Publishing an E-Journal on a Shoe String: Is It a Sustainable Project?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 89-101, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
    • M30 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - General

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