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Hundreds of independent, local, quasi-charitable microcredit societies, or $loan funds,# were lending to as many as 20% of Irish households in the mid-nineteenth century. Monitored by a central regulatory authority, funds in the system were successful in mitigating informational, moral hazard and enforcement problems, and thus operated at a surplus in a(More)
Parallel imports are genuine products imported without the authorization of the trademark or copyright owner in a country. Authorized dealers have employed trademark and copyright law to exclude parallel imports using claims of infringement. Our assertion is that trademark and copyright laws are inappropriate for enforcing restrictions against parallel(More)
Because pharmaceutical markets are dysfunctional, the patent system does not effectively stimulate drug research and development. Instead, it induces large amounts of research into drugs with little incremental therapeutic value, while providing inadequate incentives to innovate in really novel areas. At the same time, patents result in high prices which(More)
Synthetic biology (SynBio) has tremendous, transformative potential. Like other technologies, it can be used for good or ill. Currently, the structure of the allocation of potential benefits and risks is biased in favor of richer countries. The underlying problem is simple: most risks from SynBio are universal and affect both the rich and the poor with(More)
BACKGROUND Manufacturers justify the high prices for orphan drugs on the basis that the associated R&D costs must be spread over few patients. The proliferation of these drugs in the last three decades, combined with high prices commonly in excess of $100,000 per patient per year are placing a substantial strain on the budgets of drug plans in many(More)