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Patents and Research Tools in a Schumpeterian Growth Model with Sequential Innovation

By Silvia Galli

Abstract

In the standard quality-ladder growth models, R&D firms undertake independent innovation processes to discover ideas whose value immediately transfers into tradeable applications. Here the standard multisector neo-Schumpeterian growth theory is extended by decomposing product innovation into a two-stage uncertain research activity. I compare the general equilibrium innovative performance of an economy where early-stages scientific results are patentable with the general equilibrium innovative performance with unpatentable basic ideas freely disseminated by public research institutions (universities). I show that the widely documented increasing complexity experienced in applied R&D magnifies the public basic R&D inefficiencies and suggests the patentability of research tools.

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