NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Scott Duke Kominers

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Working Papers

August 2014Patent Trolls: Evidence from Targeted Firms
with Lauren Cohen, Umit Gurun: w20322
We provide theoretical and empirical evidence on the evolution and impact of non-practicing entities (NPEs) in the intellectual property space. Heterogeneity in innovation, given a cost of commercialization, results in NPEs that choose to act as "patent trolls" that chase operating firms' innovations even if those innovations are not clearly infringing on the NPEs' patents. We support these predictions using a novel, large dataset of patents targeted by NPEs. We show that NPEs on average target firms that are flush with cash (or have just had large positive cash shocks). Furthermore, NPEs target firm profits arising from exogenous cash shocks unrelated to the allegedly infringing patents. We next show that NPEs target firms irrespective of the closeness of those firms' patents to the NPEs'...
April 2013The Demise of Walk Zones in Boston: Priorities vs. Precedence in School Choice
with Umut M. Dur, Parag A. Pathak, Tayfun Sönmez: w18981
School choice plans in many cities grant students higher priority for some (but not all) seats at their neighborhood schools. This paper demonstrates how the precedence order, i.e. the order in which different types of seats are filled by applicants, has quantitative effects on distributional objectives comparable to priorities in the deferred acceptance algorithm. While Boston's school choice plan gives priority to neighborhood applicants for half of each school's seats, the intended effect of this policy is lost because of the precedence order. Despite widely held impressions about the importance of neighborhood priority, the outcome of Boston's implementation of a 50-50 school split is nearly identical to a system without neighborhood priority. We formally establish that either increasi...
December 2010Agglomerative Forces and Cluster Shapes
with William R. Kerr: w16639
We model spatial clusters of similar firms. Our model highlights how agglomerative forces lead to localized, individual connections among firms, while interaction costs generate a defined distance over which attraction forces operate. Overlapping firm interactions yield agglomeration clusters that are much larger than the underlying agglomerative forces themselves. Empirically, we demonstrate that our model's assumptions are present in the structure of technology and labor flows within Silicon Valley and its surrounding areas. Our model further identifies how the lengths over which agglomerative forces operate influence the shapes and sizes of industrial clusters; we confirm these predictions using variations across both technology clusters and industry agglomeration.

Published: Kerr, William R., and Scott Duke Kominers. "Agglomerative Forces and Cluster Shapes." Review of Economics and Statistics 96, no. 3 (July 2014).

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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