How Do Patents Affect Research Investments?
While patent systems have been widely used both historically and internationally, there is nonetheless a tremendous amount of controversy over whether patent systems – in practice – improve the alignment between private returns and social contributions. In this paper, I describe three parameters – how the disclosure function affects research investments, how patent strength affects research investments in new technologies, and how patents on existing technologies affect follow-on innovation – needed to inform the question of how patents affect research investments, and review the available evidence which has attempted to empirically estimate these parameters.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23088
Published: Heidi L. Williams, 2017. "How Do Patents Affect Research Investments?," Annual Review of Economics, vol 9(1), pages 441-469.