nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2012‒02‒01
nine papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Recent Research on the Economics of Patents By Bronwyn H. Hall; Dietmar Harhoff
  2. Intellectual property rights, innovation and technology transfer: a survey By Anja, Breitwieser; Neil, Foster
  3. The relation between the firm’s IP strategy and occupation and qualification of the R&D labour force By Spithoven, André; Teirlinck, Peter
  4. International Sourcing, Product Complexity and Intellectual Property Rights By Alireza Naghavi; Julia Spies; Farid Toubal
  5. Intellectual Property and Biodiversity: When and Where are Property Rights Important? By Mare Sarr; Tim Swanson
  6. Technological Innovation, Resource Allocation, and Growth By Leonid Kogan; Dimitris Papanikolaou; Amit Seru; Noah Stoffman
  7. The Inventive, the Educated, and the Creative: How Do They Affect Metropolitan Productivity? By Lobo, José; Mellander, Charlotta; Stolarick, Kevin; Strumsky, Deborah
  8. Technological Change, Fuel Efficiency and Carbon Intensity in Electricity Generation: A Cross-Country Empirical Study By Elena Verdolini; Nick Johnstone; Ivan Hašcic
  9. Should Economists Use Open Source Software for Doing Research? By A. Talha Yalta; A. Yasemin Yalta

  1. By: Bronwyn H. Hall; Dietmar Harhoff
    Abstract: Recent research on the economics of patents is surveyed. The topics covered include theoretical and empirical evidence on patents as an incentive for innovation, the effectiveness of patents for invention disclosure, patent valuation, and what we know about the design of patent systems. We also look at what is known about some current policy areas, including software and business method patents, university patenting, and the growth in patent litigation.
    JEL: K11 L20 O34
    Date: 2012–01
  2. By: Anja, Breitwieser; Neil, Foster
    Abstract: Following the conclusion of the TRIPS Agreement, much has been written on the potential costs and benefits of stronger Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) protection in terms of its impact on innovation and technology transfer, as well as economic growth and welfare. This paper documents the development of IPR regimes within countries and internationally, before surveying the theoretical and empirical literature linking the protection of IPRs to economic growth, innovation and technology diffusion.
    Keywords: Intellectual Property Rights; Innovation; Economic Growth; Technology Diffusion
    JEL: F13 O34 F53 O31
    Date: 2012–01–20
  3. By: Spithoven, André (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium); Teirlinck, Peter (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium)
    Abstract: The past decades have witnessed a large growth in patenting and out-licensing rendering the IP strategy an important element for innovation management. The paper looks at the relation between the formal qualification and occupation of R&D personnel and the IP strategy by focussing on the probability of firms? to register patents and to out-license technology in order to generate revenue. Based on the occupational and educational characteristics of R&D personnel it is shown that patent registration and income generating from licensing imply a different set of skills from the R&D labour force. Looking at the occupation of the R&D staff, patenting can be related to the presence of R&D managers & researchers and also to R&D support staff; whereas out-licensing is linked to the R&D support staff solely. Second, regarding the level of education, the act of registering patents and generating revenue from them depends on R&D staff having a doctoral degree.
    Keywords: Intellectual property; R&D personnel; Education; Occupation; Firm-level
    Date: 2011–11
  4. By: Alireza Naghavi (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, University of Bologna and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Julia Spies (Institute for Applied Economic Research (IAW) and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Farid Toubal (University of Angers, Paris School of Economics and CEPII)
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose the technological complexity of a product and the level of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) protection to be the co-determinants of the mode through which multinational firms purchase their goods. We study the choice between intra-firm trade and outsourcing given heterogeneity at the product- (complexity), firm- (productivity) and country- (IPRs) level. Our findings suggest that the above three dimensions of heterogeneity are crucial for complex goods, where firms face a trade-off between higher marginal costs in the case of trade with an affiliate and higher imitation risks in the case of sourcing from an independent supplier. We test these predictions by combining data from a French firm-level survey on the mode choice for each transaction with a newly developed complexity measure at the product-level. Our fractional logit estimations confirm the proposition that although firms are generally reluctant to source highly complex goods from outside the firm’s boundaries, they do so when a strong IPR regime in the host country guarantees the protection of their technology.
    Keywords: Sourcing Decision, Product Complexity, Intellectual Property Rights, Fractional Logit Estimation
    JEL: F12 F23 O34
    Date: 2011–11
  5. By: Mare Sarr (School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Tim Swanson (Department of Economics, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies)
    Abstract: An important issue in the life sciences industries concerns the nature of the incentive mechanism that should govern the production of innovation within this R&D sector. We look at the specific problem of coordinating the supply of inputs across very different agents - North and South - that must each supply inputs in order to generate innovations from the industry. The current arrangement in this industry provides for a single property right at “end of the pipeline”, i.e. where marketing of the innovation occurs. This property rights scenario raises two problems, one of efficiency and one of equity. The key question asked here pertains to the number and placement of property rights that should be instituted to address this property rights failure. Should one establish new property rights in traditional knowledge alone; property rights in genetic information alone; or in both? We demonstrate that in a world in which traditional knowledge and genetic information are complements in the production of R&D, a resolution of the property rights failure in genetic information also may resolve the allocation failure in traditional knowledge even in the absence of a distinct property right. The reason is that traditional knowledge of the nature of private information is comparable to a trade secret. Traditional knowledge holders may use this informational advantage to improve their benefit by capturing some informational rent. A new property right is important to enable bargaining and coordination to occur across the industry, but a single property right is probably sufficient to enable coordination between the two agents.
    Keywords: Biodiversity Prospecting, Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources, Intellectual Property Rights, Sequential R&D
    JEL: Q56 O34 L24
    Date: 2011–11
  6. By: Leonid Kogan; Dimitris Papanikolaou; Amit Seru; Noah Stoffman
    Abstract: We explore the role of technological innovation as a source of economic growth by constructing direct measures of innovation at the firm level. We combine patent data for US firms from 1926 to 2010 with the stock market response to news about patents to assess the economic importance of each innovation. Our innovation measure predicts productivity and output at the firm, industry and aggregate level. Furthermore, capital and labor flow away from non-innovating firms towards innovating firms within an industry. There exists a similar, though weaker, pattern across industries. Cross-industry differences in technological innovation are strongly related to subsequent differences in industry output growth.
    JEL: E32 G14 O3 O4
    Date: 2012–01
  7. By: Lobo, José (Arizona State University); Mellander, Charlotta (Jönköping International Business School); Stolarick, Kevin (University of Toronto); Strumsky, Deborah (University of North Carolina-Charlotte)
    Abstract: A longstanding research tradition assumes that endogenous technological development increases regional productivity. It has been assumed that measures of regional patenting activity or human capital are an adequate way to capture the endogenous creation of new ideas that result in productivity improvements. This process has been conceived as occurring in two stages. First, an invention or innovation is generated, and then it is developed and commercialized to create benefits for the individual or firm owning the idea. Typically these steps are combined into a single model of the “invention in/productivity out” variety. Using data on Gross Metropolitan Product per worker and on inventors, educational attainment, and creative workers (together with other important socio-economic controls), we unpack the model back to the two-step process and use a SEM modeling framework to investigate the relationships among inventive activity and potential inventors, regional technology levels, and regional productivity outcomes. Our results show almost no significant direct relationship between invention and productivity, except through technology. Clearly, the simplification of the “invention in/productivity out” model does not hold, which supports other work that questions the use of patents and patenting related measures as meaningful innovation inputs to processes that generate regional productivity and productivity gains. We also find that the most effective measure of regional inventive capacity, in terms of its effect on technology, productivity, and productivity growth is the share of the workforce engaged in creative activities.
    Keywords: Innovation; Productivity; Regional Technology; Patents; Human Capital; Creative Class
    JEL: C31 O10 O31 O47 R11 Z10
    Date: 2012–01–20
  8. By: Elena Verdolini (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Nick Johnstone (OECD Environment Directorate); Ivan Hašcic (OECD Environment Directorate)
    Abstract: This paper provides an empirical analysis of the determinants of energy efficiency in fossil fuel electricity generation across 28 OECD countries over the period 1981-2006, with particular attention to the role played by technological development and the availability of energy efficient technologies in the market. This contribution is novel in three respects: first, empirically assess the effects of different determinants of energy efficiency, which include the input mix in electricity generation, the capacity ratio at which power plants are run, as well as the characteristics of the production technology. Second, we focus on the role of technological availability: using patent data for carefully selected innovations in fossil-fuel technologies, we build an indicator which proxies for technological developments in fuel-efficient electricity generation. Third, by formalizing the relationship between fuel efficiency and carbon intensity, we assess the impact of changes in the input mix and in technological availability on CO2 emissions in the electricity sector. Results show that input mix, capacity utilization and new investment in capacity play a significant role in increasing energy efficiency. Increasing the stock of available technologies (or stock of knowledge) is also associated with higher efficiency levels. Given the link between increased efficiency and lower CO2 emissions, we conclude that technological change has a negative and significant effect on carbon intensity, while the changing input mix affects CO2 intensity both through an increase in efficiency as well as by lowering the input-weighted emission factor.
    Keywords: Fossil Fuel Electricity Generation, Energy Efficiency, Carbon Intensity, Technological Change, Patents
    JEL: Q40 O33 O13
    Date: 2011–12
  9. By: A. Talha Yalta (TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Department of Economics); A. Yasemin Yalta (Hacettepe University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We survey the literature on the accuracy of econometric software. We also assess the advantages of open source software from the point of view of reliability and discuss its potential in applied economics, which has now become fully dependent on computers. As a case study, we apply various accuracy tests on gretl (GNU Regression, Econometrics and Time-series Library) and demonstrate that the open source nature of the program made it possible to see the cause, facilitated a rapid fix, and enabled verifying the correction of a number of flaws that we uncovered. We also run the same tests on four widely-used proprietary econometric packages and observe the known accuracy errors that remained uncorrected for more than five years.
    Keywords: Open source; Econometric software; gretl; Accuracy; Software reliability
    Date: 2012

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