Prizes, Publicity and Patents: Non‐Monetary Awards as a Mechanism to Encourage Innovation

26 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2013

See all articles by Petra Moser

Petra Moser

NYU Stern Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Tom Nicholas

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

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Date Written: September 2013

Abstract

This paper exploits the selection of prize‐winning technologies among exhibitors at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851 to examine whether - and how - ex post prizes that are awarded to high‐quality innovations may encourage future innovation. U.S. patent data indicate a 40 per cent increase after 1851 in patenting for prize‐winners compared with other exhibits. Results are robust to controlling for technology‐specific pre‐trends and for the quality of patents. A comparison of changes in patenting for prize‐winners with changes for technologies that were described on the front page of the Scientific American suggests that publicity for promising research fields may be an important mechanism by which ex post prizes encourage future innovation.

Suggested Citation

Moser, Petra and Nicholas, Tom, Prizes, Publicity and Patents: Non‐Monetary Awards as a Mechanism to Encourage Innovation (September 2013). The Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 61, Issue 3, pp. 763-788, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2344007 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joie.12030

Petra Moser (Contact Author)

NYU Stern Department of Economics ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Tom Nicholas

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02163
United States

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