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Review of Law & Economics

Editor-in-Chief: Parisi, Francesco

Ed. by Cooter, Robert D. / Gómez Pomar, Fernando / Kornhauser, Lewis A. / Parchomovsky, Gideon / Engel, Christoph

3 Issues per year

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.196
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.401
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.244

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Volume 13 (2017)

Watt, Again? Boldrin and Levine Still Exaggerate the Adverse Effect of Patents on the Progress of Steam Power

George Selgin
  • Terry College of Business, University of Georgia
/ John L. Turner
  • Terry College of Business, University of Georgia
Published Online: 2009-12-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1555-5879.1432

In an earlier comment on Boldrin and Levine’s 2003 lecture on patents and their effect on technology, we observed that their account of James Watt’s influence on the progress of steam technology contained factual errors which tended to exaggerate the negative consequences of Watt’s patent. We concluded that it was far from obvious that a corrected account would support Boldrin and Levine’s bold conjectures. While Boldrin and Levine’s 2008 “Against Intellectual Monopoly” begins with a new version of Watt’s story that claims to take our earlier criticisms into account, here we assess that version and conclude that it shares many of the shortcomings of the original.

Published Online: 2009-12-31

Citation Information: Review of Law & Economics. Volume 5, Issue 3, Pages 1101–1113, ISSN (Online) 1555-5879, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1555-5879.1432, December 2009

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