924 research outputs found

    Modes of Communication

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    Academic Freedom, Private-Sector Focus, and the Process of Innovation

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    We develop a model that clarifies the respective advantages and disadvantages of academic and private-sector research. Our model assumes full protection of intellectual property rights at all stages of the development process, and hence does not rely on lack of appropriability or spillovers to generate a rationale for academic research. Instead, we focus on control-rights considerations, and argue that the fundamental tradeoff between academia and the private sector is one of creative control versus focus. By serving as a precommitment mechanism that allows scientists to freely pursue their own interests, academia can be indispensable for early-stage research. At the same time, the private sector%u2019s ability to direct scientists towards higher-payoff activities makes it more attractive for later-stage research.

    Pricing of scientific journal and market power

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    We analyze the empirical relationship between journal prices, their quality measured by their citation counts, their age, as well as conduct of publishers. The database covers 22 scientific fields and over 2600 among the most highly reputed and cited journals in 2003. We show that (a) for-profit journals charge roughly 3 times more than journals run by scientific societies; (b) the number of citations has a positive impact on prices; (c) there are large differences in prices across fields that vary from 1 and 6; these are highly (and positively) correlated with the degree of concentration in the industry.

    Transferable Control

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    In this paper, we introduce the notion of transferable control, defined as a situation where one party (the principal, say) can transfer control to another party (the agent) but cannot commit herself to do so. One theoretical foundation for this notion builds on the distinction between formal and real authority introduced by Aghion and Tirole, in which the actual exercise of authority may require noncontractible information, absent which formal control rights are vacuous. We use this notion to study the extent to which control transfers may allow an agent to reveal information regarding his ability or willingness to cooperate with the principal in the future. We show that the distinction between contractible and transferable control can drastically influence how learning takes place: with contractible control, information about the agent can often be acquired through revelation mechanisms that involve communication and message-contingent control allocations; in contrast, when control is transferable but not contractible, it can be optimal to transfer control unconditionally and learn instead from the way in which the agent exercises control.Economic
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