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Intellectual property reform in the laboratory

Ismaël Benslimane, Paolo Crosetto (), Raul Magni-Berton and Simon Varaine ()
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Ismaël Benslimane: IPhiG - Institut de Philosophie de Grenoble - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes
Raul Magni-Berton: IEPG - Sciences Po Grenoble - Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes
Simon Varaine: PACTE - Pacte, Laboratoire de sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes - IEPG - Sciences Po Grenoble - Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes

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Abstract: This study attempts to experimentally capture the effects of democratic reform of intellectual property (IP) and measure how a vote "against IP" can disappoint the most talented innovators and reduce their creativity. Contrary to expectations, the results show that such a vote increases overall creativity. Actually, the most talented innovators do not vote in favor of IP. Rather, those who vote in favor of IP are those who benefit relatively more from royalties. Surprisingly, no correlation is found between these two populations: the IP in our experiment seems not to reward the best players, but the players choosing an 'autarkic' strategy of relying on their own creationsand forego cross-fertilization with other players. These are not particularly brilliant players thatopt for a rent-seeking strategy that maximises gainsfromthe IP systemitself. There are plausible arguments to argue that this result is at least partly valid in the real world, especially for complexand highly sequential innovations where it has been proven that patent trolls and anti-competitivestrategies are important. These findings lead us not to recommend IP constitutional protections,because there are no major "tyranny from the majority" concerns.

Keywords: Intellectual Property; Patents; Institutional Reform; Innovation policy; Creativity; Real effort task; Vote; Laboratory experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-ino and nep-ipr
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