NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation: Evidence from Health Care Markets

Heidi L. Williams

Chapter in NBER book Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 16 (2016), Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors
Conference held April 14, 2015
Published in March 2016 by University of Chicago Press
© 2016 by the National Bureau of Economic Research
in NBER Book Series Innovation Policy and the Economy

A long theoretical literature has analyzed optimal patent policy design, yet there is very little empirical evidence on a key parameter needed to apply these models in practice: the relationship between patent strength and research investments. I argue that the dearth of empirical evidence on this question reflects two key challenges: the difficulty of measuring specific research investments, and the fact that finding variation in patent protection is difficult. I then summarize the findings of two recent studies which have made progress in starting to overcome these empirical challenges by combining new datasets measuring biomedical research investments with novel sources of variation in the effective intellectual property protection provided to different inventions. The first study, Budish, Roin and Williams (forthcoming), documents evidence consistent with patents affecting the rate and direction of research investments in the context of cancer drug development. The second study, Williams (2013), documents evidence that one form of intellectual property rights on the human genome had quantitatively important impacts on follow-on scientific research and commercial development. I discuss the relevance of both studies for patent policy, and discuss directions for future research.

This chapter is no longer available for free download, since the book has been published. To obtain a copy, you must buy the book.
Order from Amazon.com in hardcover or paperback

You may be able to access the full text of this document via the Document Object Identifier.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1086/684986

This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w21246, Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation: Evidence from Health Care Markets, Heidi L. Williams
Users who downloaded this chapter also downloaded* these:
Scott Morton and Shapiro Patent Assertions: Are We Any Closer to Aligning Reward to Contribution?
Boudreau and Lakhani Innovation Experiments: Researching Technical Advance, Knowledge Production, and the Design of Supporting Institutions
Williams w16213 Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation: Evidence from the Human Genome
Hochberg Accelerating Entrepreneurs and Ecosystems: The Seed Accelerator Model
Nanda and Rhodes-Kropf Financing Entrepreneurial Experimentation
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us