nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2006‒09‒03
one paper chosen by
Jonas Holmstrom
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Reflections on "The Simple Economics of Basic Research": Looking Back and Looking Forwards By Richard Nelson

  1. By: Richard Nelson
    Abstract: Many of the points argued in this old paper have withstood the tests of time. The economic contribution of basic research is to enable or facilitate downstream invention. The range of inventions that may be facilitated by basic research is unpredictable, but often large. For these reasons, it is desirable that the results of basic research be in the public domain rather than being patented. One major point has turned out not to be fully true. In some cases the results of basic research can be and have been patented. The heart of this essay is an exploration of the problems that have been caused in recent years by the patenting of basic research results, and a consideration of the policy options and appropriate responses.
    Keywords: Basic research, Science, Public Domain, Patenting, Bayh-Dole
    Date: 2006–08–31

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