NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Patents and Research Investments: Assessing the Empirical Evidence

Eric Budish, Benjamin N. Roin, Heidi L. Williams

NBER Working Paper No. 21889
Issued in January 2016
NBER Program(s):IO, LE, PE, PR

A well-developed theoretical literature — dating back at least to Nordhaus (1969) — has analyzed optimal patent policy design. We re-present the core trade-off of the Nordhaus model and highlight an empirical question which emerges from the Nordhaus framework as a key input into optimal patent policy design: namely, what is the elasticity of R&D investment with respect to the patent term? We then review the — surprisingly small — body of empirical evidence that has been developed on this question over the nearly half century since the publication of Nordhaus's book.

download in pdf format
   (361 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21889

Published: Eric Budish & Benjamin N. Roin & Heidi Williams, 2016. "Patents and Research Investments: Assessing the Empirical Evidence," American Economic Review, vol 106(5), pages 183-187. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Moser w21964 Patents and Innovation in Economic History
Coile, Milligan, and Wise w21939 Social Security and Retirement Programs Around the World: The Capacity to Work at Older Ages – Introduction and Summary
Jaffe and de Rassenfosse w21868 Patent Citation Data in Social Science Research: Overview and Best Practices
Azoulay, Ganguli, and Graff Zivin w21995 The Mobility of Elite Life Scientists: Professional and Personal Determinants
Sampat and Williams w21666 How Do Patents Affect Follow-On Innovation? Evidence from the Human Genome
 
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