This essay focuses on two specific aspects of knowledge that make it interesting from the viewpoint of law and economics. First, we consider the nature of knowledge as a public good, discussing how non-excludability, non-rivalry, and positive externalities in knowledge production affect private incentives and generate a demand for state intervention. We discuss the role of patent and copyright laws, as well as other forms of state support, in this context. Secondly, considering knowledge as information, we examine the economic implications of asymmetries in information, and the extent to which laws and the legal mechanism can help solve the problems created by asymmetric information.
- Arrow K (1962) Economic welfare and the allocation of resources for invention. In: The rate and direction of inventive activity: economic and social factors. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp 609–625Google Scholar
- Guha, AS, Guha, B (2014) Reversal of fortune revisited: the geography of transport and the changing balance of world economic power. Rivista di Storia Economic 30(2):161–188.Google Scholar