Visibility of technology and cumulative innovation: evidence from trade secrets laws


Ganglmair, Bernhard ; Reimers, Imke


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URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/52994
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-529944
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2019
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 19-035
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: D80 , O31 , O34,
Keywords (English): Cumulative innovation , disclosure , self-disclosing inventions , Uniform Trade Secrets Act
Abstract: We use exogenous variation in the strength of trade secrets protection to show that a relative weakening of patents (compared to trade secrets) has a disproportionately negative effect on the disclosure of processes – inventions that are not otherwise visible to society. We develop a structural model of initial and follow-on innovation to determine the effects of such a shift in disclosure on overall welfare in industries characterized by cumulative innovation. We find that while stronger trade secrets encourage investment in R&D, they may have negative e�ects on overall welfare – the result of a significant decline in follow-on innovation.

Das Dokument wird vom Publikationsserver der Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim bereitgestellt.




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Ganglmair, Bernhard ; Reimers, Imke (2019) Visibility of technology and cumulative innovation: evidence from trade secrets laws. Open Access ZEW Discussion Papers Mannheim 19-035 [Working paper]
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