This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Topics in Law and Economics: Three Essays




Francisco, James

Type of Degree



Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


In Chapter 1, the impact of proposed patent reform legislation is evaluated. Survival analysis is employed to ascertain what factors influence the length of time for patent grants. The role of these factors in potential reforms is also discussed. Surprisingly, corporations do not appear to have an advantage over individuals in terms of alacrity of patent grants, nor do US individuals or firms have advantages over foreign applicants. Industries such as software and pharmaceuticals do suffer from unusually long delays. Chapter 2 examines the exercise of market power in the potash fertilizer industry using a dynamic cost analysis of an extractable resource industry inspired by (Hotelling, 1931), as well as the work of (Pindyck, 1985) on a dynamic Lerner index. Firm level data from leading North American firms, members of a legally sanctioned Canadian export cartel, suggests that market power is substantially affecting the price of potash fertilizer, and that the market power has increased in recent years. In Chapter 3, the differences between traditional standards of scientific significance, empirical economic results, and legal evidence are discussed. The traditional standards of statistical significance were not designed with legal or evidentiary standards in mind, which leads to decisions regarding the presentation of economic evidence that don’t necessarily jibe with the relevant legal standards.