DP2890 Science versus Profit in Research: Lessons from the Human Genome Project

Author(s): Carlo Carraro, Alessandra Pomè, Domenico Siniscalco
Publication Date: July 2001
Keyword(s): allocation mechanisms, intellectual property rights, science, technology, welfare
JEL(s): D78, H23, H40, O32, O38
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=2890

This Paper elaborates on the recent race to sequence the human genome. Starting from the debate arising from the genome case on public versus private research, the Paper shows that in some fundamental research areas, where knowledge externalities play an important role, market and non-market allocation mechanisms do coexist and should coexist in order to ensure socially desirable achievements. A game-theoretic model makes it possible to demonstrate the above results and to characterize some features of an optimal research policy.