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Economics of Innovation and IP

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Paul Belleflamme
added 3 research items
We analyze a two-stage non-cooperative game where the firms choose first to adopt (either simultaneously or sequentially) one of two network technologies, and then compete on the market. The two-stage procedure and the assumption that firms have heterogeneous tastes with respect to the technologies lead to a novel treatment of network externalities. In particular, as the network of some firm enlarges, the change in this firm's payoff is shown to depend both on the newcomer's identity and on the composition of the networks and, as a result, is not necessarily positive.
Paul Belleflamme
added 2 research items
R&D cooperation is reconsidered in situations where firms direct R&D activities towards a new product that cannibalizes the firms' existing products. For soft cannibalization, the welfare-maximizing arrangement between firms involves, for low R&D costs, the formation of a separate entity that independently chooses both the output level of the new good and the level of R&D expenditures and otherwise, joint decisions about R&D but independent decisions about production. Yet, as cannibalization increases, firms find it unprofitable to market the new good unless they collaborate more narrowly. Merger should then be permitted for the socially desirable introduction of the new good.
This paper investigates the relation between asymmetries in the distribution of shares in joint ventures and asymmetries between the parent companies. When the joint venture and the parent companies are controlled by separate entities, we provide a simple formula to compute the optimal ownership structure. This formula is applied to various models of market interaction, showing that larger companies should have a larger fraction of shares, and so should companies whose goods are closer substitutes of the product of the joint venture, or companies who have a higher cost of transformation of the input produced by a joint venture.
Paul Belleflamme
added 8 research items
Because the patent system is nowadays under criticisms, it is legitimate to question whether patents provide the best incentive mechanism for innovation. Wouldn’t it be preferable to base incentives on a reward system? This is the question addressed in this article, first in a general perspective and then, by considering the specific case of the pharmaceutical industry. JEL code – L51, L65, L88, 034.
This paper provides a survey on studies that analyze the macroeconomic effects of intellectual property rights (IPR). The first part of this paper introduces different patent policy instruments and reviews their effects on R&D and economic growth. This part also discusses the distortionary effects and distributional consequences of IPR protection as well as empirical evidence on the effects of patent rights. Then, the second part considers the international aspects of IPR protection. In summary, this paper draws the following conclusions from the literature. Firstly, different patent policy instruments have different effects on R&D and growth. Secondly, there is empirical evidence supporting a positive relationship between IPR protection and innovation, but the evidence is stronger for developed countries than for developing countries. Thirdly, the optimal level of IPR protection should tradeoff the social benefits of enhanced innovation against the social costs of multiple distortions and income inequality. Finally, in an open economy, achieving the globally optimal level of protection requires an international coordination (rather than the harmonization) of IPR protection.