Chapter 7 The knowledge appropriability trade-off
The Economics of an Emergent System Property
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This chapter explores the full range of effects of knowledge properties, and explains how properties such as transient appropriability, non-exhaustibility and indivisibility have both negative and positive effects. Knowledge externalities help reduce the cost of knowledge, and imitation externalities reduce revenue from and profitability of innovations. Their effects need to be considered jointly in a single analytical framework. An analysis of their combined effects questions the scope of application of the Arrovian postulate. Policy implications suggest that, along with public interventions designed to support the supply of knowledge and compensate for missing incentives, much attention should be paid to all interventions that favour the dissemination of knowledge, knowledge connectivity of the system and selective support for high-quality research projects.

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