Chapter 3 Patents and innovations for growth and welfare – a literature review
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Micro-motives for using the patent system by and large aligned with macro-motives for having a patent system, albeit with new uses and abuses after the advent of the pro-patent era, calling for new perspectives on the patent system and its trade-offs. A new view is that the patent system provides a contractual infrastructure and a governance mechanism besides incentivizing technological innovations and their diffusion. The literature points at several paradoxes in the innovation spiral – a patenting paradox at both macro- and micro-level, growth and productivity paradoxes and Easterlin’s paradox. All in all R & D (and especially technological diversification) contribute strongly to patents, innovations and (recombinant) growth, with clearly positive links throughout in the innovation spiral on average in recent literature.

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