Tag: Competition

The Policy Challenge of Artificial Intelligence

James Bessen

Across all major sectors of the economy, proprietary information technology is increasing the market dominance of large firms, which is evidence of a slowdown in the spread of technical knowledge throughout the economy. The result is rising industry concentration, slower productivity growth and growing wage inequality. The key challenge to IP and antitrust policy will be counter this trend yet maintain innovation incentives.

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Innovation

Iain Cockburn, Rebecca Henderson, and Scott Stern.

Can artificial intelligence serve as a new general-purpose “method of invention” that can reshape the nature of the innovation process and the organization of R&D? Research suggests that this may lead to a significant substitution away from more routinized labor-intensive research towards research that takes advantage of the interplay between passively generated large datasets and enhanced prediction algorithms. The authors suggest that policies which encourage transparency and sharing of core datasets across both public and private actors may be critical tools for stimulating research productivity and innovation-oriented competition.

Accounting for Rising Corporate Profits: Intangibles or Regulatory Rents?

James Bessen

Since 1980, US corporate valuations have risen relative to assets and operating margins have grown. The possibility of sustained economic rents has raised concerns about economic dynamism and inequality. But rising profits could come from political rents or, instead, from returns to investments in intangibles. This paper explores these factors using new data on Federal regulation and data on lobbying, campaign spending, R&D, and organizational capital.