This speech by Stiglitz is quite interesting. He is almost quite-good on many of his comments on the patent system, despite his utilitarianism and his managerial-statism. He is one of the ones who has openly advocated a tax funded innovation prize to replace the patent system. I agree that in most respects it would be an improvement: it would make it clear that the patent system is nothing but a state-managed redistrubution of wealth.1 See the chart–of course he gives 3 alternative systemes: patent, tax funded prize, and government funded research. He doesn’t consider the glaringly obvious 4th choice: free competition and property rights, or private innovation prizes (e.g., Xprize). But he is good in admitting the problems with assumptions behind the current patent system. The speech is below; it resulted in a paper.
[Mises blog cross-post]
- See my posts Re: Patents and Utilitarian Thinking Redux: Stiglitz on using Prizes to Stimulate Innovation, Mises Blog (Dec. 28, 2006) and Patents and Utilitarian Thinking Redux: Stiglitz on using Prizes to Stimulate Innovation (Sept. 19, 2006); $30 Billion Taxfunded Innovation Contracts: The ‘Progressive-Libertarian’ Solution. [↩]
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