It is widely believed today that the free market is the best mechanism ever invented to efficiently allocate resources in society. Just as fundamental is the belief that government has a legitimate and competent role in policing and punishing. The result, in this country, has been an incendiary combination of laissez faire and mass incarceration.
This panel was recorded April 24, 2010 as part of the conference "Creating Capabilities," held at the University of Chicago Law School and organized by James Heckman, Martha Nussbaum and Robert Pollak.
Patents encourage innovation by granting inventors exclusive rights to sell their inventions. The resulting monopoly profits are a reward for innovation. It is commonly thought, however, that these monopoly profits price some consumers of inventions out of the market. This loss of consumption is an “efficiency” cost of patents.
Institutional investors, because of their relatively larger ownership stakes, have more incentive than retail investors to monitor the companies in which they invest, particularly if it is costly to exit.
This panel was recorded on December 5, 2009 as part of the conference "Markets, Firms and Property Rights: A Celebration of the Research of Ronald Coase." The conference brought together a group of scholars to honor the life and research of Ronald Coase. 2009 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Coase’s seminal paper on the Federal Communications Commission.
Harvey Levin, '75, is the Executive Producer of TMZ.com and TMZ TV. He also is a Host of The People's Court and was Creator and Executive Producer of Celebrity Justice. Mr. Levin has taught at the University of Miami School of Law, Whittier College School of Law, and Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. This talk was recorded on October 18, 2010.
Reasonably secure property rights are widely understood as important for economic growth, though it is also understood that interest groups and politicians can benefit from particular configurations of rights. What might change in a world where intellectual property dominates? How should we expect innovators to be motivated in the next century?