nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2012‒11‒03
two papers chosen by
Rui Baptista
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Inventors, Patents and Inventive Activities in the English Brewing Industry, 1634-1850 By Alessandro Nuvolari; James Sumner
  2. Innovation, Competition, and Investment Timing By Koskinen, Yrjö; Mæland, Jøril

  1. By: Alessandro Nuvolari; James Sumner
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between patents, appropriability strategies and market for technologies in the English brewing industry before 1850. Previous research has pointed to the apparent oddity that large-scale brewing in this period was characterized both by a self-aware culture of rapid technological innovation, and by a remarkably low propensity to patent. Our study records how brewery innovators pursued a wide variety of highly distinct appropriability strategies, including secrecy, selective revealing, patenting, and open innovation and knowledge-sharing for reputational reasons. All these strategies could co-exist, although some brewery insiders maintained a suspicion of the promoters of patent technologies which faded only in the nineteenth century. Furthermore, we find evidence that sophisticated strategies of selective revealing could support trade in inventions even without the use of the patent system.
    Date: 2012–10–23
  2. By: Koskinen, Yrjö; Mæland, Jøril
    Abstract: In our model multiple innovators compete against each other by submitting investment proposals to an investor. The investor chooses the least expensive proposal and when to invest in it. Innovators have to provide costly effort and they learn privately the cost of investing. Multiple efforts have to be compensated for, but competition helps to erode innovators' informational rents, since innovators are more likely to lose the competition if they inflate investment costs. Consequently, competition leads to faster innovation, because the investor has less of a need to delay expensive investments. The investor's payoff sensitivity also increases with competition, thus enabling the investor to capture more of the upside of innovative activity.
    Keywords: Agency costs; Auctions; Innovation; Investment timing; Real options
    JEL: D44 D82 G24 G31 O31 O32
    Date: 2012–10

This nep-tid issue is ©2012 by Rui Baptista. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.