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Schwerpunktseminar Institutions and Innovation in Historical Perspective

Dr. Francesco Cinnirella 

Dr. Simon Wiederhold

Blocked seminar July 3, 2015 at Ifo Institute, Summer Semester 2015 (for Bachelor)


In this seminar we study to what extent laws protecting intellectual property rights can affect innovative activity. In particular, we will elaborate on the link between patent laws and individuals’ and firms’ innovation. Much of the empirical evidence in this field is based on the analysis of historical U.S. and European patent systems. In fact, patents laws varied geographically and across time in their strength, breadth, and costs. Adopting a comparative approach, we will address questions such as: What was the role of patents in the Industrial Revolution? Do patent laws affect the level as well as the direction of technical change? Do patent systems affect the diffusion of innovative ideas? What can we learn from World Exhibition data? Are there alternatives to a patent system? Another aim of the seminar is to draw policy implications for the current debate on the importance of the protection of intellectual property rights for boosting innovation. In the seminar, students will deal with basic and advanced econometric techniques to identify the causal effect of patent systems on innovative activity. Therefore, interest in econometric topics is a prerequisite for attending the seminar.

For Preparation / Zur Vorbereitung


Organizational meeting/Vorbesprechung: January 30, 9:00 at the Ifo Institute, Poschingerstr. 5, 81679 Munich

Please note that participation will become binding when receiving your topic on 30 January and take note of these formalities.

Mit der Übernahme des Themas sind Sie verbindlich zu diesem Schwerpunktseminar angemeldet. Bitte beachten Sie hierzu unbedingt diese Hinweise des Prüfungsausschusses.