Procuring Knowledge

41 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2003 Last revised: 8 Feb 2015

See all articles by Stephen M. Maurer

Stephen M. Maurer

University of California, Berkeley

Suzanne Scotchmer

University of California - Department of Economics (Deceased); University of California, Berkeley - School of Law; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 2003

Abstract

There is growing public interest in alternatives to intellectual property including, but not limited to, prizes and government grants. We argue that there is no single best mechanism for supporting research. Rather, mechanisms can only be compared within specific creative environments. We collect various historical and contemporary examples of alternative incentives, and relate them to models of the creative process. We give an explanation for why federally funded R&D has moved from an intramural activity to largely a grant process. Finally, we observe that much research is supported by a hybrid system of public and private sponsorship, and explain why this makes sense in some circumstances.

Suggested Citation

Maurer, Stephen M. and Scotchmer, Suzanne, Procuring Knowledge (August 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w9903. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=435465

Stephen M. Maurer

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Suzanne Scotchmer (Contact Author)

University of California - Department of Economics (Deceased)

Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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