Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Knowledge-Specific Patents and the Additionality Constraint

  • Cristiano AntonelliEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_734


This entry elaborates the implications for a new knowledge policy of the full range of effects of its limited appropriability and exhaustibility. The analysis of the appropriability trade-off identifies the dual effects of knowledge spillovers consisting not only in the reduction of incentives to the generation of knowledge but also in the reduction of R&D costs stemming from the access to the quasi-public stock of knowledge. The positive effects of knowledge spillover may compensate for the reduction of the price of innovated goods with its well-known negative effect in terms of reduced pay out of R&D activities and eventual underproduction of knowledge. The appreciation of the full spectrum of possibilities of the appropriability trade-off further refined by the analysis of the effects of the limited exhaustibility of knowledge and of the distinction between imitation and knowledge externalities enables to articulate a new framework of knowledge policy. These results, in...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Antonelli C (2007) Knowledge as an essential facility. J Evol Econ 17:451–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Antonelli C (2013) Compulsory licensing: the foundations of an institutional innovation. WIPO J 4:157–174Google Scholar
  3. Antonelli C (2017) Endogenous innovation. The economics of an emergent system property. Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  4. Antonelli C, Crespi F (2013) The “Matthew effect” in R&D public subsidies: the case of Italy. Technol Forecast Soc Chang 80:1523–1534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Antonelli C, David PA (eds) (2015) The economics of knowledge and the knowledge driven economy. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Antonelli C, Link A (eds) (2015) Handbook of the economics of knowledge. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Antonelli C, Barbiellini Amidei F, Fassio C (2014) The mechanisms of knowledge governance: state owned corporations and Italian economic growth, 1950–1994. Struct Chang Econ Dyn 31:43–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Arrow KJ (1962) Economic welfare and the allocation of resources for invention. In: Nelson RR (ed) The rate and direction of inventive activity: economic and social factors. Princeton University Press for NBER, Princeton, pp 609–625Google Scholar
  9. Clarysse B, Wright M, Mustar P (2009) Behavioral additionality of R&D subsidies: a learning perspective. Res Policy 38:1517–1533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. David PA, Hall BH (2006) Property and the pursuit of knowledge: IPR issues affecting scientific research. Res Policy 35:776–771CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. David PA, Hall HB, Toole AA (2000) Is public R&D a complement or substitute for private R&D? A review of the econometric evidence. Res Policy 29:497–529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gilbert R, Shapiro C (1990) Optimal patent length and breadth. Rand J Econ 21:106–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Griliches Z (1979) Issues in assessing the contribution of research and development to productivity growth. Bell J Econ 10(1):92–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Heller MA, Eisenberg RS (1998) Can patents deter innovation? The anticommons in biomedical research. Science 280:698–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Helpman E (ed) (1998) General purpose technologies and economic growth. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  16. Mosel M (2011) Competition imitation, and R&D productivity in a growth model with industry-specific patent protection. Rev Law Econ 7:601–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Weitzman ML (1996) Hybridizing growth theory. Am Econ Rev 86:207–212Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica “Cognetti de Martiis”Università di Torino, Collegio Carlo AlbertoTorinoItaly