How Do Patents Affect Follow-On Innovation? Evidence from the Human Genome
NBER Working Paper No. 21666
Issued in October 2015, Revised in November 2017
NBER Program(s):Aging, Health Care, Industrial Organization, Law and Economics, Public Economics, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
We investigate whether patents on human genes have affected follow-on scientific research and product development. Using administrative data on successful and unsuccessful patent applications submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office, we link the exact gene sequences claimed in each application with data measuring follow-on scientific research and commercial investments. Using this data, we document novel evidence of selection into patenting: patented genes appear more valuable—prior to being patented—than non-patented genes. This evidence of selection motivates two quasi-experimental approaches, both of which suggest that on average gene patents have had no quantitatively important effect on follow-on innovation.
The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.
You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.
Machine-readable bibliographic record -
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21666
Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
|Cohen, Nelson, and Walsh
||w7552 Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)
|Chandra, Finkelstein, Sacarny, and Syverson
||w21603 Healthcare Exceptionalism? Performance and Allocation in the U.S. Healthcare Sector
|Banerjee, Barnhardt, and Duflo
||w21616 Movies, Margins and Marketing: Encouraging the Adoption of Iron-Fortified Salt
|Budish, Roin, and Williams
||w21889 Patents and Research Investments: Assessing the Empirical Evidence
|Abaluck and Gruber
||w21617 The Robustness of Tests for Consumer Choice Inconsistencies