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Optimal patent length and breadth in an economy with creative destruction and non-diversifiable risk. (English) Zbl 1231.91329
Summary: In this paper, I examine the optimal patent shape in an economy in which R&D firms innovate and imitate, households face non-diversifiable risk and there is externality in production and R&D. With non-diversifiable risk, a household’s consumption and investment decisions are interlinked. This economy contains industries of two kinds: monopoly industries with an innovator only, and duopoly industries with an innovator and an imitator. I define patent length as the expected time in which an innovation is imitated, and patent breadth as the innovator’s profit share in an industry after a successful imitation. The government can control patent length by the requirements for accepting a substitute for a patented good, and patent breadth by imposing compulsory licensing and royalties for the patentee after a successful imitation. I show that the stronger the externality in production relative to R&D is, the slower the optimal growth rate, the larger the optimal proportion of duopoly industries, and the longer and narrower the optimal patent.

91B62 Economic growth models
91B38 Production theory, theory of the firm
91B32 Resource and cost allocation (including fair division, apportionment, etc.)
Full Text: DOI
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