NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Inventors and Pirates: Creative Activity and Intellectual Property Rights

Herschel I. Grossman

NBER Working Paper No. 7898
Issued in September 2000
NBER Program(s):   EFG

This paper analyzes how both the value of ideas created as well as the security of intellectual property rights result from the choices of potentially creative people either to engage in creative activity or to be pirates, and from decisions of people who are engaged in creative activity to allocate time and effort to the guarding of ideas from pirating. An important result is that, although the existence of a small number of geniuses causes a larger fraction of potentially creative people to choose to be pirates and, consequently, makes intellectual property rights less secure, the existence of a small number of geniuses, holding fixed the average level of talent, can result in a larger value of ideas being created. The paper also recognizes the difference between the private value and the social value of the security of intellectual property rights.

download in pdf format
   (347 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (347 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7898

Published: Grossman, Herschel I. "Inventors And Pirates: Creative Activity And Intellectual Property Rights," European Journal of Political Economy, v21(2,Jun), 2005, 269-285.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Shavell and van ypersele w6956 Rewards versus Intellectual Property Rights
Helpman w4081 Innovation, Imitation, and Intellectual Property Rights
Boldrin and Levine w12769 Growth and Intellectual Property
Branstetter and Saggi w15393 Intellectual Property Rights, Foreign Direct Investment, and Industrial Development
Branstetter, Fisman, Foley, and Saggi w13033 Intellectual Property Rights, Imitation, and Foreign Direct Investment: Theory and Evidence
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us