Copyright and patent play in incentives for investments, but may go too far in deterring parallel developments.
Michele Boldrin of Washington University in St. Louis talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about intellectual property and Boldrin’s book, co-written with David Levine, Against Intellectual Property.
Boldrin argues that copyright and patent are used by the politically powerful to maintain monopoly profits. He argues that the incentive effects that have been used to justify copyright and patents are exaggerated–few examples from history suggest that the temporary and not-so-temporary monopoly power from copyright and patents were necessary to induce innovation. Boldrin reviews some of that evidence and talks about the nature of competition.