This annotated bibliography of (mostly scholarly and technical) articles and books on innovation prizes is a work on progress. In the past few years, there has been an explosion of research on innovation inducement prizes, much of which has yet to be added to this list. People who want to suggest citations, annotations or corrections can send a note to email@example.com. More on prizes here: /prizes
2012. February 29. Tina Rosenberg. Prizes With an Eye Toward the Future, New York Times. (Link)
2012. Feb 27. Sheremeta, Roman M., Masters, William A. and Cason, Timothy N., Winner-Take-All and Proportional-Prize Contests: Theory and Experimental Results. (Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2014994). Experimental evidence of consistently higher effort with winner-take-all prize contests, despite assumed theoretical advantages of proportional reward prize designs.
2012. February 22. David Bornstein. Innovation for the People, by the People, New York Times. [Link]
2012. January. Laura W. Musselwhite, Karolina Maciag, Alex Lankowski, Michael C. Gretes, Thomas E. Wellems*, Gloria Tavera, Rebecca E. Goulding and Ethan Guillen, First Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) Neglected Diseases and Innovation Symposium, The American Journal of Troplical Medicine and Hygiene. vol. 86 no. 1 65-74. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.11-0608. [Link] Includes a discussion of presentations by James Love (KEI) and Paul Wilson (Results for Development) on innovation prizes.
2012. Nora Engel, John Kenneth and Madhukar Pai, “TB diagnostics in India: creating an ecosystem for innovation.” Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics, 12(1), 21–24 (2012). [Link] This is a report of a conference held in Bangalore, India, on 25–26 August 2011, to discuss a TB Diagnostics prize. The Gates Foundation, a funder of the X-Prize Foundation, BVGH and Results for Development work on TB diagnostic prizes, also provided funding for this conference.
2011. Gandjour A, Chernyak N. A new prize system for drug innovation. Health Policy (2011). Governments make a firm commitment to “pay” rewards to drug developers, based upon data of utilization and estimated incremental health benefits, against a measure of value for unit of outcome (QALY, DALY, etc). The total annual budget to pay for innovation depends upon utilization and the benefits of the drugs people take. The operational details of the proposed system are not entirely obvious, with references to cross border parallel trade, “confidential rebates” in procurement and other issues.
2011. Wolfstetter, Elmar G. and Ding, Wei, Prizes and Lemons: Procurement of Innovation Under Imperfect Commitment. RAND Journal of Economics, Volume 42, Issue 4, pages 664–680, Winter 2011. The focus of the paper are prizes where suppliers of innovation have the freedom to compete in the prize contest, or choose to commercially exploit inventions outside of the contest framework.
2011. May 26. A New Paradigm for Supporting Sustainable Innovation and Access to New Drugs for AIDS: De-Linking Markets for Products from Markets for Innovation. KEI [Link]. This memo looks at S.1138, the Prize Fund for HIV/AIDS.
2011. May 26, The Medical Innovation Prize Fund. A New Paradigm for Supporting Sustainable Innovation and Access to New Drugs: De-Linking Markets for Products from Markets for Innovation. KEI [Link]. This memo looks at S.1137, The Medical Innovation Prize Fund Act.
2011. Paul Wilson and Amrita Palriwala, Prizes for Global Health Technologies, Results for Development. This is a report, commissioned by the Gates Foundation, to influence the World Health Organization’s Consultative Expert Working Group on R&D. The report is presented as an independent analysis of prizes for global health innovation, with a particular focus on prizes for diagnostic devices for tuberculosis. The Gates Foundation opposes the use of large “end product” prizes, as a replacement for IPR enforced monopolies. The authors’ interviews (listed on pages 68-69), did not include anyone working for for-profit drug development firms, and ignored earlier statements form Gilead, J&J and Novartis that end product prizes for type 2 and type 3 diseases in developing countries, with open licenses to generic suppliers of products, were a reasonable alternative business model to reward R&D.
2011. Rehman, Hafiz Aziz ur, India’s Slumdog Millions: New Models of Medical Innovation (2011). Creighton Law Review, Vol. 44, 2011; ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 11-11. (Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1829653). The author explores ways to implement the innovation prize fund approach in India or other developing countries. Hafiz Aziz Rehman now works for the MSF Access to Medicines Campaign in Geneva.
2010. William Fisher and Talha Syed. Drugs, Law, and the Health Crisis in the Developing World. Stanford University Press. [link]. Chapter 10 of this book is on prizes, and is available online.
2010. Spring Gombe and James Love, “New Medicines and Vaccines,” in Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property, Edited by Gaëlle Krikorian and Amy Kapczynski, Zone Books, pages 531-546.
2010. September 9. Adam Mann. “Teams battle for neuron prize. Contest spurs progress for programs that can map a brain cell’s myriad branches.” Nature, Vol 467. This is a story about the 75 thousand dollar Digital Reconstruction of Axonal and Dendritic Morphology (DIADEM) Challenge. A press release about the prize contest is available here.
2010. Akira Takeishi, Yaichi Aoshima and Masaru Karube. “Reasons for Innovation: Legitimizing Resource Mobilization for Innovation in the Cases of the Okochi Memorial Prize Winners” in Dynamics of Knowledge, Corporate Systems and Innovation. Springerlink. [link]. Drawing on 18 case studies of Okochi Memorial Prize winners and building upon the existing literature on internal corporate venturing, new ventures, and other related issues, this chapter examines the innovation process of established Japanese firms from idea generation to commercialization with a primary focus on the process by which resource mobilization was legitimized.
2010 August 24. Brad Rourke. “Promoting Innovation: Prizes, Challenges and Open Grantmaking.” The Case Foundation. [link]. In spring 2010, the Case Foundation together with the White House Domestic Policy Council and the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy hosted a public-private strategy session focused on promoting innovation through the use of prizes, challenges and open grantmaking. This report is a brief summary of highlights, lessons and findings from the conference.
2010 August 5. “Innovation Prizes: And the Winner Is…”. The Economist. [link]
2010 July 30. James Pethokoukis. “Why Washington Should Embrace Innovation Prizes.” Reuters. [link]
2010 May 3. Jonathan H. Adler. “Eyes on a Climate Prize: Rewarding Energy Innovation to Achieve Climate Stabilization.” Harvard Environmental Law Review. [link]
2010 April 30. Joel Achenbach. “Government contests offer different way to find solutions for problems.” The Washington Post. [link]
2010. March. Jorn Sonderholm. Intellectual Property Rights and the TRIPS Agreement. An Overview of Ethical Problems and Some Proposed Solutions. The World Bank Development Research Group Trade and Integration Team & Human Development Network Development Dialogue on Values and Ethics. Policy Research Working Paper 5228. Sonderholm looks at various prize fund type proposals, but focuses mostly on the AMC and HIF proposals, and little evidence of understanding the details of the US Medical Innovation Prize Fund Proposal, or the various Bolivia, Barbados, Bangladesh Suriname proposals to the WHO.
2010. March. Bhushan, Bharat, The incentives and disincentives of innovation prizes : a survey of the dropout teams from Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, Thesis (S.M. in System Design and Management)–Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2010. [Link] This research, which is based upon interviews with teams that dropped out of an X Prize contest, illustrates the limits of innovation inducement prizes with small purses.
2009. Ian E. Maxwell. “Chapter 15. Prize Innovation” in Managing Sustainable Innovation: The Driver for Global Growth. Springer. [link]
2009 August. V. V. Chari, Mikhail Golosov, and Aleh Tsyvinski. “Prizes and Patents: Using Market Signals to Provide Incentives for Innovations.” Working Paper 673, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Research Department. [link]
2009 June 3. Sara E. Crager and Matt Price. “Prizes and Parasites: Incentive Models for Addressing Chagas Disease.” The Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, Volume 37, Issue 2. pp 292–304. Summer 2009 (Wiley). [link]
2009, July. And the winner is… Capturing the promise of philanthropic prizes. McKinsey (Link).
2009 June 10. Talha Syed. “Should a Prize System for Pharmaceuticals Require Patent Protection for Eligibility?”. IGH Discussion Paper No. 2. [link]
2009. May June. Eyes on the Prize: Incentivizing Drug Innovation without Monopolies, Multinational Monitor, MAY/JUN 2009, VOL 30 NO. 3. Robert Weissman interview of James Love in the Multinational Monitor.
2008. Aidan Hollis. “The Health Impact Fund: A Useful Supplement to the Patent System?”. Public Health Ethics 1(2), pp 124-133. Oxford University Press. [link]
2008 December. Paul Hynek. “The Hyper-Commons: How Open Science Prizes Can Expand and Level the Medical Research Playing Field.” Rejuvenation Research. 11(6): 1065-1072. [link]
2008 September. Qiang Fuy, Jingfeng Luz, Yuanzhu Lux. “The Optimal Research Contest: Subsidies or Prizes.” [link]
2008 Fall. Jaison G. Morgan. “Inducing Innovation Through Prizes.” Innovations. Vol. 3. No. 4. pp 105-117. MIT Press. [link]
2008 April 19. James Love. “University Patent Managers Versus Developing Countries.” The Huffington Post. [link]
2008. Stan Finkelstein, M.D. and Peter Temin, Reasonable Rx: Solving the Drug Price Crisis, Financial Times Press. The book proposes dividing drug companies into drug discovery/development firms and drug marketing/distribution firms, and the establishment of “an independent, public, non-profit Drug Development Corporation (DDC)” to “act as an intermediary between the two new industry segments” and to “serve as a mechanism for prioritizing drugs for development.”
2008 March 26. James Love. “Prizes, not prices, to stimulate antibiotic R&D.” SciDev.net [link]
2008 March 7. ” Selected Innovation Prizes and Reward Programs,” KEI Research Note 2008:1 [link]
2008 February. Ron Marchant. “Managing Prize Systems: Some Thoughts on the Options.” KEStudies, Vol. 2 (2008) [link]
2008 January 25. Tim Harford. “Cash for Answers.” Financial Times. [link]
2008 January 24. Liam Brunt, Josh Lerner,s and Tom Nicholas. “Inducement Prizes and Innovation.” Harvard Business School. [link]
2007. Marlynn Wei. “Should Prizes Replace Patents? A Critique of the Medical Innovation Prize Act of 2005.” Boston University Journal of Science & Technology Law. [link 1] [link 2]. Argues that the Medical Innovation Prize Fund Act is too ambitious “relative to the lack of support in empirical evidence.” Proposes implementation of a smaller scale pilot prize program to test and perfect the system.
2007. Thomas C. Erren. “Prizes to Solve Problems in and beyond Medicine, Big and Small: It Can Work.” Medical Hypotheses (2007) 68, 732-734.
2007. Bruce G. Charlton. “Mega-Prizes in Medicine: Big Cash Awards May Stimulate Useful and Rapid Therapeutic Innovation.” Medical Hypotheses (2007) 68, 1-3.
2007. Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy (STEP). “Innovation Inducement Prizes at the National Science Foundation.” National Academies Press. [link]
2007 November. Vincenzo Denicolo and Luigi Alberto Franzoni. “On the winner-take-all principle in innovation races.” University of Bologna, Italy. [link]
2007 November. James Love and Tim Hubbard. “The Big Idea: Prizes to Stimulate R&D for New Medicines.” Chicago-Kent Law Review Vol. 82 no. 3. Previously published as KEI Research Paper 2007:1. [link] Discusses the efforts to change the business model for new drug development by eliminating monopolies to sell products with systems of prizes linked to the impact of new medicines on health care outcomes. This includes examining models for medical innovation prizes in different markets, including the U.S., Europe and in developing countries.
November 12. James Love. “Would cash prizes promote cheap drugs?” The New Scientist. [link]
2007 October. J A DiMasi and H G Grabowski. “Should the Patent System for New Medicines Be Abolished?” Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics (2007) 82 (5), 488–490. Criticism of the use of prizes to stimulate R&D.
2007 September 30. KEI Comment to the World Health Organization (WHO) Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights, “The Role of Prizes in Stimulating R&D.” [link]
2007 June. Aidan Hollis. “Incentive Mechanisms for Innovation. Institute for Advanced Policy Research Technical Paper TP-07005. A comparison of patents, research grants, targeted prizes, and ex post prizes and an exploration of their interaction. Introduces a new incentive mechanism for innovation, provisionally labeled optional broad rewards (OBRs). [link]
2007 March. James Love. “Measures to Enhance Access to Medical Technologies, and New Methods of Stimulating Medical R&D. Published in the UC Davis Law Review, 40(3):679-715. Originally a paper for the WIPO Open Forum on the Draft Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT) 18 April 2006. [link]. Section II(A) details the 2005 Medical Innovation Prize Fund and offers proposals on how to tailor it to the needs of developed, developing, and least developed countries.
2007 March. Carl Nathan. “Aligning Pharmaceutical Innovation with Medical Need.” Nature Medicine. 13(3):304-8.
2006 December 23. Joseph Stiglitz. “Scrooge and Intellectual Property Rights: A medical prize fund could improve the financing of drug innovations.” British Medical Journal. 333:1279-80. [link]
2006 December. Gerard Llobet, Hugo Hopenhayn, and Matthew Mitchell. “Rewarding Sequential Innovators: Prizes, Patents and Buyouts.” Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1041-1068. Previously published as the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Research Department Staff Report 273. [link] Considers cumulative innovation with multiple innovators and innovations of unknown value. In such cases, the authors argue that a revised patent system that permits compulsory licensing by competitors would be preferable to prizes and traditional patents.
2006 December. Thomas Kalil. “Prizes for Technological Innovation.” Brookings Institution Discussion Paper. [link]
2006 December. Hugo Hopenhayn, Gerard Llobet, and Matthew Mitchell. “Rewarding Sequential Innovators: Prizes, Patents and Buyouts.” Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1041-1068. Originally published July 2000 as Research Department Staff Report 273 for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. [link]
2006 September 16. Joseph Stiglitz. “Give Prizes, Not Patents.” New Scientist, p. 21. [link] On the importance of access to knowledge globally, especially as relates to pharmaceuticals, with a brief history of the new “enclosure movement” through the 1994 Uruguay Round and the TRIPS agreement.
2006 August. Berndt, Glennerster, Kremer, Lee, Levine, Weizsäcker, Williams. “Advance Market Commitments for Vaccines Against Neglected Diseases: Estimating Costs and Effectiveness.” Center for Global Development Working Paper number 98. [link]. A discussion of an AMC in which sponsors would commit to a minimum per capita price for suitable immunizations, up to a certain number of patients, as well as of various model contracts and how they would alter the cost-effectiveness of vaccines. Discussion of the size of such a fund, with adjustments of marketing cost and levels of risk under the terms of various arrangements.
2006 May. James Love. “Drug development incentives to improve access to essential medicines. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 84(5). [link]. Proposal for a Medical Innovation Prize Fund and new global trade framework as alternatives that better accommodate a human right to essential medicines.
2006 February. Rachel Glennerster, Michael Kremer, and Heidi Williams. “Creating Markets for Vaccines Innovations Case Discussion: International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.” Innovations, winter 2006, pp. 67-79. [link] A proposal to use Advanced Market Commitments to incentivize private sector R&D of products for diseases concentrated in poor countries. The paper includes a discussion of market failures for vaccines, an overview of the roles of push and pull mechanisms in developing new vaccines, and a possible structure for an AMC.
2006 January. William M. Butterfield. “Facilitate Institutional Development, Win a Prize! How the World Bank and Other Donors Could Help Overcome Barriers to Growth.” Paper for the 2006 Public Choice Society Annual Meeting, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 10–13, 2005. [link]
2006. Joseph Stiglitz. “Patents, Profits, and People.” In Making Globalization Work. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 103-132. 2006.
2006. Kevin Outterson. “Patent Buy-Outs for Global Disease Innovations for Low and Middle-Income Countries.” American Journal of Law and Medicine, Vol. 32, 2006. [link]
2006. William A. Masters. “Prizes for Innovation in African Agriculture: A Framework Document.” Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute at Columbia University. [link] Considers cumulative innovation with multiple innovators and innovations of unknown value. In such cases, the author argues that a revised patent system that permits compulsory licensing by competitors would be preferable to prizes and traditional patents.
2006. Juri Saar. “Prizes: The Neglected Innovation Incentive.” ESST: The European Inter-University Association on Society, Science and Technology. [link]
2006. Jaffe, A. “The Millennium Grand Challenge in Mathematics.” Notices of the American Mathematical Society 53:6 652-660. A history of the evolution of the Millenium Grand Challenge, written by Arthur Jaffe, president of the American Mathematical Society when the prize idea was first proposed. [link]
2006. Gray, Jeremy. “A History of Prizes in Mathematics” in: The Millennium Prize Problems by James A. Carlson, Arthur Jaffe, Andrew Wiles. Providence, RI: The American Mathematical Society (2006). 169 pages. A thorough overview of historical math prizes as an introduction to essays on the seven Millenium Grand Challenges in Mathematics, sponsored by the Clay Mathematics Institute.
2006. Barder, Owen; Kremer, Michael; and Williams, Heidi. “Advance Market Commitments: A Policy to Stimulate Investment in Vaccines for Neglected Diseases.” The Economists’ Voice: Vol. 3 : Iss. 3, Article 1. [link]. This paper advocates a proposal for Advance Market Commitments to be piloted by the G8 finance ministers in 2006.
2005. William A. Masters. “Research prizes: a new kind of incentive for innovation in African agriculture.” International Journal of Biotechnology Volume 7, Numbers 1-3 / 2005: 195 – 211.2005 November 3. “Making Markets for Vaccines: A Practical Plan.” The Center for Global Development and The Global Health Policy Research Network. Consultation Draft Report of the Working Group, submission to the WHO. [link]. The conclusions of a working group on Advanced Market Commitments which concludes that AMCs “would be likely to accelerate development and delivery of new vaccines and that it could be implemented in practice” and “sets out in detail how a commitment could be designed: how it would be constructed in law, the main principles of the contract, and how sponsors could make the necessary funding commitments.”
2005 June 21. Thomas Pogge. “A New Approach to Pharmaceutical Innovations.” Online Opinion. [link]
2005 May 27. John S. James. “Medical innovation prize fund: new idea in drug development.” AIDS Treatment News. Issue 412. Page 6(1).
2005 May 18. Sanders, Representative Bernard. United States Congressional Record. Extensions of Remarks, E149. Medical Innovation Prize Fund. [link]
2005 April 7. Molly K. Macauley. “Advantages and disadvantages of prizes in a portfolio of financial incentives for space activities.” Resources for the Future. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has proposed to use financial prizes to encourage innovation in space technology. Public debate about the use of prizes questions their effectiveness, the role of government compared with the private sector in administering prizes—for example, the Ansari X-Prize for human suborbital flight was privately funded and administered—and other issues that are likely to influence the success of this approach.
2005. S. Birner and E. Martinot. “Market transformation for energy-efficient products: Lessons from programs in developing countries.” Energy Policy vol. 33, pp:1765–1779. [link] Includes an overview of a Chinese Government prize program to stimulate innovation in the energy-efficient refrigerator market.
2005 February 1. Julien Penin. “Patents versus ex post rewards: A new look.” Research Policy vol. 34, pp. 641-656.
2005 January 17. Aidan Hollis. “An Efficient Reward System for Pharmaceutical Innovation.” [link] Discusses benefits of a pharmaceutical reward system over current patent system. Explains features of the pharmaceutical market that make profits poor indicators of a drug’s social value.
2005 January 5. Berndt, Glennerster, Kremer, Lee, Levine, Weizsäcker, Williams. “Advance Markets for a Malaria Vaccine: Estimating Costs and Effectiveness.” [link]. A proposal for an Advance Market Commitment for the development of a Malaria vaccine, including a discussion of the monetary amount required to approximate revenues for typical commercial pharmaceutical products, and of the degree to which the price and volume would determine the cost-effectiveness of such a vaccine. The authors analyze characteristics of a hypothetical vaccine to show that cost-effectiveness varies only slightly depending on the type of vaccine, but that the duration of protection strongly affects potential cost-effectiveness.
2005. Aidan Hollis. “An Optional Reward System for Neglected Disease Drugs.” Department of Economics, University of Calgary; Institute of Health Economics. [link] Proposes that pharmaceutical innovators be eligible for a share of an approximately $1 billion global reward fund if they chose to open license the patent for their innovation in all developing countries. Proposes a mechanism for determining reward shares for a given drug based on relative social value.
2005 January. Thomas Pogge. “Human Rights and Global Health: A Research Program.” Metaphilosophy. 1/2(36). [link] Proposes a global reward fund of $45-90 billion per year from which pharmaceutical innovators could choose to apply for payment in lieu of a patent monopoly. Emphasizes the moral as well as prudential rationale for such a system.
2005. James Love. “Medical Innovation Prize Fund System of Remuneration.” In Remuneration Guidelines for Non-Voluntary Use of a Patent on Medical Technologies. James Love. WHO UNDP. 77-80 and 101-104. [link] Includes a section on an international medical innovation prize fund. Considers levels of prize contribution by countries of various incomes, as well as the compatibility of such a fund with the TRIPS Agreement. Table A-3 in the appendix of the UNDP paper provides the amount each country would contribute to an international prize fund under a proposed sliding scale model.
2005. James Love and Tim Hubbard. “Paying for Public Goods.” In Code: Collaborative Ownership and the Digital Economy. Edited by Rishab Aiyer Ghosh. MIT Press, Cambridge. 207-229. [link] The second section describes the inefficiencies of market exclusivity for drugs, and proposes an alternative system in which ‘competitive intermediators’ dispense funds to promote innovation according to the model (prizes, grants, etc.) the intermediator judges to be most efficient.
2005. Richard Newell and Nathan Wilson. “Technology Prizes for Climate Change Mitigation.” Resources for the Future Discussion Paper 05-33. [link] Though the main purpose is to explore prizes related to climate change, discussion emphasizes general prize design and implementation.
2005. B. Zorina Khan and Kenneth L. Sokoloff. “Of Patents and Prizes: Great Inventors and the Evolution of Useful Knowledge in Britain and the United States, 1790-1930.” University of California, Los Angeles and NBER [link]
2005. B. Zorina Khan. The Democratization of Invention: Patents and Copyrights in American Economic Development. NBER and Cambridge University Press. Contains details on a variety of prizes in France.
2005. Ken Davidian. “Prize Competitions and NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program.” Paper presented at the International Lunar Conference 2005.
2005. James F. English. The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, And the Circulation of Cultural Value. Harvard University Press (2005). Focusing on the modern forms of prizes as they relate to recognition in literature and the arts, English studies “the specific workings of prizes, their elaborate mechanics of nomination and election, presentation and acceptance, sponsorship, publicity, and scandal.”
2004 December. Alex Schroeder. “The Application and Administration of Inducement Prizes in Technology.” Independence Institute Research Paper. [link]
2004 September 22. Dean Baker. “Financing Drug Research: What are the Issues?” Issue Brief, Center for Economic and Policy Research. [link] Argues that a proposed global prize system could face problems with political interference in research priorities.
2004 July 15. “NASA Contests and Prizes: How Can They Help Advance Space Exploration.” Hearing before the United States Congress, House Committee on Science, Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, 108th Congress, Second Session. [link]
2004 July 15. Molly Macauley. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Prizes in a Portfolio of Financial Incentives for Space Activities.” Testimony prepared for presentation to the U.S. Congress House of Representatives Committee on Science. [link]
2004 June 25. Joseph DiMasi and Henry Grabowski. “Patents and R&D Incentives: Comments on the Hubbard and Love Trade Framework for Financing Pharmaceutical R&D.” [link] Argues that a global pharmaceutical prize system would have difficulty with free rider countries and adjusting the size of the fund to reflect changing priorities. Also suggests that a U.S. prize system would be expensive and face pressures to under-fund innovation.
2004. John F Duffy. “The Marginal Cost Controversy in Intellectual Property.” University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 71, No. 1. [link]
2004. Lee Davis. “Intellectual Property Rights, Strategy and Policy.” Economics of Innovation and New Technology. (13)5: 399-415. [link] Argues that technological, social, and legal trends make prizes and other alternatives to standard patents increasingly attractive.
2004. Lee Davis and Jerome Davis. “How Effective Are Prizes as Incentives to Innovation? Evidence from Three 20th Century Contests.” Paper for the DRUID Summer Conference on Industrial Dynamics, Innovation and Development. Elsinore, Denmark [link] A paper which briefly explores the nature of prizes as incentives, presents three case studies to illustrate key differences in the dynamics of innovation depending on the field in which the prize was deemed necessary, and considers the implications of their findings on theoretical approaches to prizes, especially as regards determining the value of the prize, resource duplication, sequential innovations, spillovers and reputation signaling effects, and simultaneous prize and patent competitions.
2004. James Love and Tim Hubbard. “A New Trade Framework for Global Healthcare R&D.” PLOS Biology. 2(2): e52. [link] Discussion of a global trade framework that would satisfy the objective of preventing R&D ‘free-riding’ without requiring drug monopolies. Suggests that instead of relying upon monopoly rents, countries could promote drug innovation through the use of prizes or grants.
2004. Michael Kremer, Rachel Glennerster. Strong Medicine: Creating Incentives for Pharmaceutical Research on Neglected Diseases. Princeton University Press (2004).
2003. A New Trade Framework for Global Healthcare R&D, Access to Medicines and the Financing of Innovations in Health Care, Paper presented at Workshop Hosted by the Program on Science, Technology, and Global Development, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, and the Consumer Project on Technology, Washington D.C. December 4th. [Link] From the paper:
1. Prize Models.
Firms can compete for rewards for specific R&D outputs — referred to by economists as a prize model. The prizes could reflect public health priorities, with greater rewards for innovative outputs, products that fill treatment gaps, or which provide databases or other building blocks for R&D. The prize model could be implemented with high or low levels of intellectual property rights, or even without any intellectual property rights.
The key objective would be to design a prize system that would permit the products to be manufactured and distributed by a competitive industry, as generic commodities, so that prices would be reasonably related to marginal costs.
The actual structure of the reward system for a prize model would drive investor incentives. A poor design would work poorly, although it would not have to be perfect to work better than the existing system, which only seems to result in about 2 cents on the industry turnover invested in innovative products.
In a simple formulation, governments could place large sums into a fund that would be allocated every year to firms that bring new products to market. The payment to the innovative firm could retire all intellectual property claims (as compensation for compulsory licenses to IPR claims), and permit rapid introduction of generic competition.
The reward system could be a lump sum payment, eliminating any incentive to continue to market the product, or to engage in activities described by some as corrupting the evidence base for prescribing decisions. Alternatively, the reward system could have a long-term payout structure, which would depend upon evidence of both usage and efficacy.
Prize systems could be designed to be fairly similar to the current system, a sort of “winner take all” compensation approach, with big payoffs for successful entrepreneurs, with the entire set of traditional intellectual property rules in place, but subject to compulsory licensing of claims when the product reaches the market. But even with this “traditional” approach, there would be huge opportunities to improve welfare. The reward system could be more rational than the existing system, allocating greater rewards for innovative products and less for “me too” products that do not work better than existing products. Premiums could be given for therapies that address treatment gaps or for inventions that pave the way to new classes of drugs. The products would be priced closer to marginal costs, reducing the need for health care payers to restrict formularies and ration access to the latest medicines. And the costs of marketing medicines, which today is far higher than the amounts invested in R&D, would be greatly reduced. There would be much less concern over counterfeiting, parallel trade, and the management of price control systems. Most importantly, the poor would have much better access to medicines.
One could also consider “prize” models that made departures from (improvements over) the “winner take all” system. This would be important, because patents are often a poor proxy for actual inventions or investments that were significant to the development of a product.
2003 August 22. Burton Weisbrod. “Solving The Drug Dilemma.” Washington Post Op-ed. [link] Proposes a prize system for pharmaceutical innovation with an emphasis on increasing efficiency in the American health care system.
2003 July. William A. Masters. “Research Prizes: A Mechanism for Innovation in African Agriculture.” Annual Meeting of the AAEA, 27-30 July 2003, Montreal. [link]
2003 June 14. Tim Hubbard and James Love. “Medicines Without Barriers.” The New Scientist. [link]
2003. James Love. “From TRIPS to RIPS: A Better Trade Framework to Support Innovation in Medical Technologies.” Paper for the Workshop on Economic issues related to access to HIV/AIDS care in developing countries, Agence nationale de recherches sur le sida, Marsielle, France. [link] Proposes a global trade framework emphasizing countries’ support for medical innovation rather than enforcing drug monopolies, which represent only one means to that end. Under the proposed framework, countries would be free to choose from a number of mechanisms for promoting medical innovation.
2003. Michael Abramowicz. “Perfecting Patent Prizes.” Vanderbilt Law Review. 56: 114-236. Originally George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 01-29 (2001). [link] Provides a detailed critique of prize proposals by Guell and Fishbaum, Shavel and van Ypersele, Kremer, and Lichtman. Suggests that determining the most efficient prize amount may not be feasible, but that a proposed integrated prize and patent system would still be efficient.
2003. W.A. Masters. “Research Prizes: A Mechanism to Reward Agricultural Innovation in Low-Income Regions.” AgBioForum Volume 6, Numbers 1 & 2, Article 14. [link]
2003. Marie Jaisson, “Prix et Subventions de l’Académie des sciences, 1916-1996.” Turnhout, Editions Brepols, 2003, 2 vol., 1364. [link] A complete list of the endowments, prizes, grants, and awards offered by the French Académie des Sciences from 1916 to 1996 which serves as a continuation of previous works by Ernest Maindron (1881) and Pierre Gauja (1917) that trace the prizes and awards of the Académie from 1714.
2002. Lee N. Davis. “Should We Consider Alternative Incentives for Basic Research? Patents vs. Prizes.” presented at the DRUID Summer Conference on “Industrial Dynamics of the New and Old Economy – who is embracing whom?”. Copenhagen/Elsinore 6-8 June 2002. [link]
2002. Paul Romer. “When Should We Use Intellectual Property Rights?” The American Economic Review 92:2. [link] Considers tradeoffs involved in the use of intellectual property rights for non-rivalrous goods, and proposes a prize system as a possible alternative.
2002. Lee Davis. “Should We Consider Alternative Incentives for Basic Research? Patents vs. Prizes.” Paper for the Druid Summer Conference on Industrial Dynamics. Copenhagen, Denmark. [link] Comparison of advantages and costs of innovation prizes, including a chart comparing the pros and cons of prizes and patent monopolies.
2001 January. M. Aveni. “Sun’s position key in willing solar wall design for DOE headquarters.” Civil Engineering, January, p. 17. Details a U.S. Department of Energy and the American Institute of Architects prize to create a “solar architectural and technological landmark for the DoE building in Washington, DC.
2001. Nancy Gallini and Suzanne Scotchmer. “Intellectual Property: When is it the Best Incentive System?” University of California, Berkeley Working Paper E01-303. [link]. Comparison of intellectual property, procurement contracts, and prizes with emphasis on the implications of (a)symmetry of information about cost and value. Argues that when sponsors know the value of innovations, a system with prizes linked to the social value of innovations is optimal.
2001. Steven Shavell and Tanguy van Ypersele. “Rewards versus Rights.” Journal of Law and Economics. 44: 525-547. [link] Previously published as “Rewards versus Intellectual Property Rights.” 1998 Harvard Law School, Olin Center for Law, Economics & Business, Discussion Paper No. 246. [link] Argues that the better system between standard patents and a mandatory prize system, and between a mandatory prize system and an optional prize system depends upon factors like information asymmetry. Concludes, however, that an optional reward system where the size of rewards is based upon sales would be superior to standard patents.
1999 October. Richard Fullerton, Bruce G. Linster, Michael McKee and Stephen Slate. “An experimental investigation of research tournaments,” Economic Inquiry, October, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 624-636. 1999. Gabriella Chiesa and Vincenzo Denicolo. “Patents, Prizes, and Optimal Innovation Policy.” Mimeo. University of Bologna. Paper presented to the XII World Congress of the International Economics Association, August.
1999. National Academy of Engineering. “Concerning Federally Sponsored Inducement Prizes in Engineering and Science.” Report of the Steering Committee for the Workshop to Assess the Potential for Promoting Technological Advance through Government-Sponsored Prizes and Contests, National Academy of Engineering. [link]
1998. Steve Calandrillo. “An Economic Analysis of Intellectual Property Rights.” Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal. 9: 301-360. [link] Argues for the superiority of a government run prize system over traditional patents and includes responses to common criticisms of prize systems.
1998. Suzanne Scotchmer. On the Optimality of the Patent Renewal System. Mimeo, University of California, Berkeley.
1998. Michael Kremer. “Patent Buyouts: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 113: 1137-67. [link] Proposes that government offer to buy out pharmaceutical patents using a described auction system to determine price. Patent holders could choose whether or to sell or to retain patent monopolies.
1997. Douglas Lichtman. “Pricing Prozac: Why the Government Should Subsidize the Purchase of Patented Pharmaceuticals. Harvard Journal of Law and Technology. (11)1: 123-139. [link]. Proposes a small government cash subsidy for patients who otherwise would not pay monopoly prices for patented drugs. Argues this would increase access more efficiently than patent buyouts, and lead patent holders to voluntarily lower prices.
1996. Eric DeLaat. “Patents or Prizes: Monopolistic R&D and Asymetrical Information.” International Journal of Industrial Organization. 15: 369-390. [link]
1995. Robert Guell and Marvin Fischbaum. Toward Allocative Efficiency in the Prescription Drug Industry. The Millbank Quarterly. 73(2):213-230. Proposal for U.S. government to seize pharmaceutical patents under power of eminent domain and transfer them to the public. Amount of ‘just compensation’ for patent holders would be determined by judges.
1995. Curtis R. Taylor. “Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments.” American Economic Review 85 (4): 872890.
1995. D. Sobel. Longitude: the True Story of a Lone Genius who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time. (New York: Walker).
1995. S. Seshadri. “Bidding for contests,” Management Science, Vol. 41, No. 4, April, pp. 561-76.
1993. Williams va Caenegem, “Inventions in Russia: From Public Good to Private Property.” Australian Intellectual Property Journal, 1993(4).
1992. Maurice Crosland. Science Under Control: the French Academy of Sciences, 1795-1914. Cambridge University Press (1992). A study of the French Academy, one of the largest prize-sponsoring foundations in history. See chapter 7.9: “The Prize System”.
1992. William P. Rogerson. Profit Regulation of Defense Contractors and Prizes for Innovation. RAND National Defense Research Institute, prepared for the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Program Analysis and Evaluation). Previously published as “Profit Regulation of Defense Contractors and Prizes for Innovation.” The Journal of Political Economy, vol. 97, no. 6. The University of Chicago Press, December 1989. A report on profit policy effects on defense sector profitability and investment incentives, argues that “profit regulation of defense contractors must establish large prizes for innovation.”
1991. Mark Johnston and Richard Zeckhauser. “The Australian Pharmaceutical Subsidy Gambit: Transmuting Deadweight Loss and Oligopoly Rents to Consumer Surplus.” NBER Working Paper. 4161. [link] Proposes offering public subsidies for pharmaceuticals in exchange for lower prices for patented drugs. Total pharmaceutical spending would remain the same or decline while access to drugs would increase.
1989. Maurice Crosland and Antonio Galvez. “The Emergence of Research Grants within the Prize System of the French Academy of Sciences.” Social Studies of Science 19 (1): 71100.
1986. D. F. Horrobin. “Glittering Prizes for Research Support.” Nature 1986; 324:221.
1985 July. Sherwin Rosen. “Prizes and Incentives in elimination Tournaments.” NBER Working Paper No. 1668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.
1983. Brian Wright. The Economics of Investment Incentives: Patents, Prizes, and Research Contracts. American Economic Review. 73: 691-707.
1982. Pankaj Tandon. “Optimal Patents with Compulsory Licensing.” Journal of Political Economy, 90: 470-486. Proposes “to supplement licenses of right by government rewards to patentees on a level ample enough to give general satisfaction to inventors and their financial promoters.”
1971. Kenneth Arrow. “Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources to Invention.” In: Essays in the Theory of Risk-Bearing. Chicago: Markham. 144-163.
1971. Roy M. MacLeod. “Of Medals and Men: A Reward System in Victorian Science, 1826-1914.” Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 26 (1): 81105.
1956. Bennett Boskey. “Some Patent Aspects of Atomic Power Development.” Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 21, No.1, Atomic Power Development. (Winter, 1956), pp. 113-131.
1952 January. Morton R. Galane. “Standards for a Reasonable Royalty Under the Atomic Energy Compulsory Licensing Program.” Virginia Law Review, Vol. 38, No. 1. (Jan., 1952), pp. 53-68.
1950 May. E. Penrose and F. Machlup. “The Patent. Controversy in the Nineteenth Century”. Journal of Economic History, vol. X:1.
1901 – 1949
1945. Francis Hughes, “Soviet Invention Awards,” The Economic Journal, Vol. 55, No. 218/219, pp. 291-297.
1944. Michael Polanvyi. “Patent Reform.” The Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2.
1917. Pierre Gauja. Les fondations de l’Académie des sciences (1881-1915). Hendaye, Imprimerie de l’Observatoire d’Abbadia, 1917. Following on the work of Ernest Maindron, this is a history of the French Academy of Sciences from 1881 to 1915, which includes prizes, awards, and grants given by that institution.
1904. John Willis Clark. Endowments of the University of Cambridge. Registry of the University of Cambridge, University of Cambridge Press. See Section VII, “Prizes”, for a list of 40 prizes given by the University for a variety of purposes.
1881. Ernest Maindron. Les fondations de Prix de l’Académie des sciences, Les Lauréats de l’Académie (1714-1880), Paris, Gauthier-Villars, 1881. A survey of the early prizes awarded by the French Academy of Sciences from 1714 to 1880.