nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2005‒04‒16
four papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Universita degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Intellectual property and the markets of ideas By Giovanni B. Ramello
  2. The Graffiti Solution By J.S. Armstrong
  3. How Expert Are the Experts? By J. S. Armstrong
  4. Aggregation of Expert Opinions By Dino Gerardi; Richard McLean; Andrew Postlewaite

  1. By: Giovanni B. Ramello (Cattaneo University (LIUC))
    Abstract: This paper attempts to systematise the law and economics theory as it relates to intellectual property rights, while at the same time suggesting new perspectives for analysis. The standard literature on IPRs relies essentially on the thesis of the incentive to create and/or disclose new ideas. However, although this argument doubtless remains valid in the general case, it fails to satisfactorily take into account various consequences arising from the new legal institutions and the specific technological context. One important such consequence is the dynamic effect of intellectual property rights on the market structure of the sectors involved, which can at times interfere with the original competitive processes, or even drastically alter them. An economic analysis based on these premises --though as yet fragmented and non systematic-- might reveal a different overall balance of welfare for the individual rights and therefore lead to different regulatory and policy indications
    Date: 2004–12
  2. By: J.S. Armstrong (The Wharton School)
    Abstract: Graffiti is regarded by many as a blight on our cities because it contributes to visual pollution. City governments spend vast sums in an effort to clean the ubiquitous graffiti from urban walls. I suggest that the ^Scleansing strategy^T is an expensive, ineffective way of dealing with the problem; well-known management techniques can solve the problem more efficiently.
    Keywords: graffiti problem, graffiti solution
    JEL: A
    Date: 2005–02–04
  3. By: J. S. Armstrong (The Wharton School)
    Abstract: If you want good forecasts for your industry, you should hire the best experts. Right? Well, maybe not. Certainly experts are in demand. Businessmen pay economists generously to tell them how the economy will change; brokerage firms give stock analysts large salaries to forecast company earnings; and politicians part with substantial fees for expert predictions, too.
    Keywords: experts, forecasting
    JEL: A
    Date: 2005–02–04
  4. By: Dino Gerardi (Department of Economics, Yale University); Richard McLean (Department of Economics, Rutgers University); Andrew Postlewaite (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: Conflicts of interest arise between a decision maker and agents who have information pertinent to the problem because of differences in their preferences over outcomes. We show how the decision maker can extract the information by distorting the decisions that will be taken, and show that only slight distortions will be necessary when agents are informationally small. We further show that as the number of informed agents becomes large the necessary distortion goes to zero. We argue that the particular mechanisms analyzed are substantially less demanding informationally than those typically employed in implementation and virtual implementation. In particular, the equilibria we analyze are conditionally dominant strategy in a precise sense. Further, the mechanisms are immune to manipulation by small groups of agents.
    Keywords: Information aggregation, Asymmetric information, Cheap talk, Experts
    JEL: D7 D8
    Date: 2005–04–01

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