NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Intellectual Property Rights, the Pool of Knowledge, and Innovation

Joseph E. Stiglitz

NBER Working Paper No. 20014
Issued in March 2014
NBER Program(s):   PE   PR

The pace of innovation is related both to the level of investment in innovation and the pool of knowledge from which innovators can draw. Both of these are endogenous: Investments in innovations are affected by the pool of knowledge and the ability of firms to appropriate the returns to their innovative activity, itself affected by the intellectual property rights (IPR) regime. But as each firm engages in research, it both contributes to the pool, and takes out from it. The strength and design of IPR affects the extent to which any innovation adds to or subtracts from the pool of ideas that are available to be commercially exploited, i.e. to the technological opportunities. We construct the simplest possible general model to explore the resulting dynamics, showing that, under plausible conditions, stronger intellectual property rights may lead to a lower pace of innovation, and more generally, that long run effects may be the opposite of the short run effects.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

This paper was revised on March 31, 2014

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20014

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Acemoglu, Naidu, Restrepo, and Robinson w20004 Democracy Does Cause Growth
Aghion, Bechtold, Cassar, and Herz w19987 The Causal Effects of Competition on Innovation: Experimental Evidence
Agrawal, McHale, and Oettl w20012 Why Stars Matter
Acemoglu w20060 Localized and Biased Technologies: Atkinson and Stiglitz’s New View, Induced Innovations, and Directed Technological Change
Markle and Shackelford w19621 The Impact of Headquarter and Subsidiary Locations on Multinationals’ Effective Tax Rates
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us