The work presented here is part of a wider research programme oriented around three specific questions. First, how do individual agents appropriate returns from innovation and how is this affected by the availability (or not) of intellectual property rights such as copyrights and patents? Second, how does this translate into the aggregate production of knowledge, once one takes account of the interaction between producers and the cumulative nature of the process of knowledge production? Finally, How can we incorporate this into an estimate of the welfare trade-off inherent in intellectual property rights (the basic prerequisite for formulating rational IP policy)? The dissertation contains theoretical work on each of these questions together with a brief introductory preamble and a review of the existing literature on the economics of knowledge
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