Suzanne Scotchmer: Biography

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Suzanne grew up in Alaska, where her grandparents homesteaded after failing as gold rushers.


B.A., magna cum laude, University of Washington, 1970,

M.A., Statistics, U.C. Berkeley, 1979,

Ph.D., Economics, U.C. Berkeley, 1980



Toulouse Network on Information Technologies, member, 2005-

NeT Institute, New York University, 2004.

Kauffman Foundation, 2006-2007

Sloan Foundation, Copyright in the Digital Age, 2010-2012.

National Science Foundation Principal Investigator

Scarce Ideas and Options to Invest in R&D, 2008-2011

Two Projects in Dynamics of the Law, 1999-2003

Optimal R&D Procurement, 1997-98

On the Evolution of Optimizing Behavior and Attitudes toward Risk, (with Eddie Dekel) 1991-93

Four Topics in Law and Economics, 1990-92

Patent Law and Collusion in Research, (with Jerry Green) 1989-90

Patent Law, Competition and Technological Advance, (with Jerry Green) 1988-89

Aspects of Optimal Tax Enforcement, (with Joel Slemrod) 1986-87

Market Provision of Shared Goods, 1985-86

Berkeley/France Fund, 1994-95, Cumulative Research and the Patent Law

Olin Fellowship, Yale Law School, 1992-93

Hoover National Fellow (Stanford University), 1988-89

Harris Trust: The Biotechnology Industry in California, 1987-88

University of California, Committee on Research Grants, 1986-1996

Phi Beta Kappa fellowship, 1977-78

Sloan Fellowship, 1978-80 


Description of Contributions in Who's Who in Economics, Elgar Publishers (2003):


My contributions have been mainly in three subjects: club theory, intellectual property and incentives for R&D, and evolutionary game theory. In club theory, my co-authors and I have succeeded in integrating group formation into general equilibrium theory. The main problem we solved was that of ensuring consistent choices of club membership. Prices for memberships must be such that whenever one agent wants to join a group of a certain type, there are other agents who want to fill the other memberships. In intellectual property, my contributions have been twofold: in the design of patent law when innovation is cumulative, especially as to ‘breadth’ of protection, and in the study of optimal mechanisms for supporting R&D, recognizing that intellectual property is a single example of such mechanisms. In evolutionary game theory, my co-author and I have studied the attitudes toward risk that would arise from evolutionary forces, and whether the preferences over strategies that evolve can be understood as rational behavior.


(Many Other Biographical Listings as well)




U.C.Berkeley, Professor of Law, 2008-, Professor of Economics, 1995-, Professor of Public Policy, 1989 -, Assistant and Associate Professor, 1986-89

Harvard University: Associate Prof of Economics, 1985-86, Assistant Prof, 1981-85 




Visiting Professor, New York University School of Law, Spring 2008.

Visiting Professor, Boalt School of Law and Information School, University of California, Berkeley, Fall 2007.

Visiting Professor of Law, Business and Economics, University of Southern California, Spring 2007.

Minicourse, Stockholm School of Economics, March 13-18, 2006. Innovation and Incentives.

Olin Visitor to Center in Law, Economics and Organizations, University of Southern California, February 2005.

University of Auckland Foundation Visitor, New Zealand, 2002

Scholar in Residence, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Fall 2000

Professeur Invité, Université de Cergy-Pontoise (France), guest of Institut Universitaire de France, 1998-99

Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1996-

Consultant to Department of Justice Antitrust Division, 1996-97

Member, NSF review panel for economics submissions, 1997-99.

Lecturer, Boalt School of Law, U.C., Berkeley, 1994-96

Visiting Scholar, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, March 1997

Visiting Scholar, Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, February 1996

Visiting Professor of Economics, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, Summer 1995,

lecturing on models of group formation

Visiting Professor of Economics, Tel Aviv University, Winter 1995-96,

lecturing on the economics of intellectual property

Distinguished Olin Visiting Professor of Law and Economics, University of Toronto, Fall 1993,

lecturing on the economics of intellectual property law

Visiting Scholar, Institute for Government Research, Helsinki, lecturing on current topics in public finance

Visiting Professor of Economics, New Economics School (at CEMI) Moscow, Russia, Spring 1993,

lecturing on microeconomics: revelation mechanisms, contracts, signalling models, decision theory

Olin Fellow, Yale Law School, Fall 1992

Professeur Invité, Université de Paris-I, Sorbonne-Panthéon, January and March 1993,

lecturing on the economics of R&D

Visiting Scholar, CORE, University of Louvain, Spring 1992

Consultant, Arthur D. Little, Inc., 1986

Research Assistant, ECON, Inc., Princeton, N.J., 1977

Consultant to California Air Resources Board, 1978

Computer Consultant for Statistical Packages, U.C.B., 1978-80

Washington University, St. Louis, Lecturer, Resource Economics, Spring 1981




Associate Editor:   Journal of Economic Literature (1998-2002), Journal of Economic Perspectives (1994-97), American Economic Review (1991-95), Journal of Public Economics (1988-2004), Regional Science and Urban Economics (1987-2005)


Referee for: Economic Theory,Journal of Public Economics, American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Econometrica, The Rand Journal, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Economics Letters, National Science Foundation, European Economic Review, Review of Economic Studies, Economica, Games and Economic Behavior, Journal of Economic Theory, International Review of Economics, Les Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, Southern Economic Journal


Program Committee: Program Committee, American Economic Association winter meetings, 2010; Advisory Group, European Patent Office, from 2004; Steering Committee, National Research Council (National Academic of Sciences), Promoting Access to Scientific and Technical Data for the Public Interest, 1998-99, International Economics Association World Congress, Buenos Aires, Summer 1999; Econometric Society Winter Meetings, 1990; International Economics Association World Congress, Moscow, August 1992; International Game Theory Conference at Stonybrook, industrial organization section, Summer 1990; Committee to select Invited Speakers, American Economic Association, 1993 , Other National Research Council (National Academy of Sciences) panels: tax evasion (1984), plant biology (1995), digital content on the internet (1997).


Guest Editor for Symposium on Club theory, Journal of Public Economics, Summer 1997, Puzzles Column, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Professional Advice and Other Hazards, Fall 1990.


Visiting Committee: University of Auckland, Dept. of Economics, 2002

Visiting Committee: Harvard University, Dept. of Economics, 2002

Visiting Committee: University of Pittsburgh, Dept. of Economics, 1995


Invited Lectures 2000 to present


National Bureau of Economic Research, March 5, 2010. Environmental and Energy Economics Program. "Cap and Trade, Emissions Taxes, and Innovation."

University of Michigan Law School, February 2009, "Cap and Trade, Emissions Taxes and Innovation."

American Economic Association, January 2010, "Openness, Open Source, and the Veil of Ignorance."

Barcelona Lecture in Economics, November 2009, "Scarcity of Ideas and R&D Options: Use it, Lose it or Bank it."

Biotech Patent Pool Workshop, Law School, U.C., Berkeley, November 5, 2009

Global Economic Solutions, Ploen Castle, Germany, September 2009 (patents and growth)

National Bureau of Economic Research Summer Institute, July 2009. Scarcity of Ideas and R&D Options: Use it, Lose it, or Bank it.

European Workship on General Equilibrium Theory, June 2009, Verifiability and Group Formation in Markets.

American Law and Economics Association, lecture, May 15, 2009. Cap and Trade. And Innovate?

Society of Labor Economists, lecture, May 8, 2009. Risk Taking and Gender in Hierarchies.

Economic Games and Mechanisms to Address Climate Change, conference, MSRI, May 4, 2009. Cap and Trade. The Problem of Technology Adoption.

ERS, Department of Agriculture, March 26, 2009. Cap and Trade. And Innovate?

Brookings Institution, conference on Abstract Patents, Jan 14, 2009. Independent Invention.

Lectures on Innovation, Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation Summer School, August 2008, Helsinki.

Conference speaker, Innovation Policy, Helsinki Center for Economic Research, August 2008.

Speaker, Kauffman Summer Legal Institute at Dana Point, “Picking Winners in Rounds of Elimination”, July 10-13, 2008.

Panelist, Inauguration de l’ecole d’economie de Toulouse, June 2008.

Speaker, European Patent Forum “Inventing a Cleaner Future, Climate Change the Opportunities for IP”, Slovenia, May 2008.

Plenary speaker, Tilburg University, 5th Anniversary Conference of TILEC on Market Governance and Innovation.  April 2008.

Frey lecture, Duke University School of Law, “A Nonobvious Discussion of Patents.” April 2008.

Speaker, IP and Entrpreneurship Symposium. Boalt School of Law. March 2008. “What we Don’t Know about Entrepreneurship.”

Plenary Speaker. Hitotsubashi University, Institute of Economic Research, Conference on Law and Economics of Intellectual Property. February 2008.  “Digital Rights Management and Collective Rights Organizations.”

Seminar. Columbia University School of Law.  February 2008. “Scarcity of Ideas and Options for R&D.”

Conference paper.  NBER Law and Economics Group, February 2008. “Scarcity of Ideas and Options for R&D.”

Seminar, Boalt School of Law, U.C., Berkeley.  November 2007.  “Profit Neutrality in Licensing: The Boundary between Patent Law and Antitrust Law.”

Seminar, U.C., Berkeley, Information School.  November 2007. “Nonobviousness, Scarcity of Ideas, and Options for R&D.”

Speaker, Conference on Nonobviousness, Lewis and Clark Law School, “Nonobviousness, Scarcity of Ideas, and Options for R&D.”  October 2007.

Lecture, Microsoft Research (Redmond), “Nonobviousness, Scarcity of Ideas, and Options for R&D.” (paper joint with Nisvan Erkal)  September 2007.

Keynote address, European Association for Research in Industrial Economics (EARIE) September 2007, Valencia, Spain.  Innovation and the Creative Environment.

Seminar, Toulouse School of Economics (Gremaq), “Verifiability and Group Formation in Markets.”  June 27, 2007.

Public Lecture, Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zurich, “Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties.”  May 29, 2007

Workshop, Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zurich, “Digital Rights Management and the Pricing of Digital Products.”  May 30, 2007.

Lecturer, European School on New Institutional Economics (Corsica), May 2007.  “Procuring Knowledge”

Conference paper, NBER Law and Economics Group, “Risk Taking and Gender in Hierarchies,”March 2007.

Seminar, USC Dept of Economics, “Risk Taking and Gender in Hierarchies.”  January 2007

Brown Bag Lunch, the Berkeley I-School, October 18, 2006 “DRM and the Pricing of Digital Products.”

Lecture, Microsoft Corporation, “Disclosure in Intellectual Property Law,” October 13, 2006

University of Washington, Dept of Economics, “Picking Winners in Rounds of Elimination,” October 16, 2006

Boalt School of Law, September 7, 2006, “DRM and the Pricing of Digital Products.”

Econometric Society Australasian Meeting (invited lecture), July 2006.  “Digital Rights Management and the Pricing of Digital Products.

Invited Lecture, Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, University of Melbourne. June 2006.  “Intellectual Property in Global Perspective.”

Guest Lecture.  Workshop on Organizational Design.  University of Melbourne Department of Economics. June 2006.

Plenary speaker, Conference on Access to Knowledge, Yale Law School, April 21-23, 2006.

Stockholm School of Economics, Lecture series and seminar, March 13-18, 2006Intellectual Property Rights.

Swiss Society for Economics and Statistics, Lugano (March 9-10, 2006) Keynote speaker (political economy of intellectual property treaties).

ECLAC (United Nations), Santiago, Chile, Task Force on Intellectual Property, lecture on “IP Incentives in the Global Environment” Dec. 5, 2005

International General Equilibrium Conference, speaker at plenary session,  U.C., Berkeley, Oct 22, 2005, “Group formation in general equilibrium”

Toulouse Network on Information Technology, September 22, 2005, “Digital Rights management”

Keynote speaker, conference, Industrial organization and Innovation,  Laboratoire d' Economie Appliquée de Grenoble, Université Pierre Mendès France, June 20-21, 2005

Panelist, The Berkeley Conference on Antitrust in the Technology Economy co-sponsored by the ABA, Sections of Antitrust Law and Intellectual Property Law and the Competition Policy Center at UC- Berkeley, June 9-10, 2005.

Conference presentation, 4th Workshop on the Economics of Information Security, Kennedy School of Government, June 2-3, 2005.

Seminar, ECARES, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, May 30, 2005

Lecturer, summer school for European graduate students in economics, CORE,  Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve

Department Seminar, Department of Economics, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, May 27, 2005

Intellectual Property Rights And Innovation: Shifting Economic and Legal Paradigms.

University of Washington, Department of Economics and Law School, February 18, 2005.

Olin Visitor to the Center in Law, Economics and Organizations, University of Southern California, February 2005.

Conference on The Economics of the Software and Internet Industries, IDEI-Toulouse, Jan 21/22, 2005.  Digital Rights Management and the Pricing of Digital Products.

Lecture, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Tokyo), Dec. 15, 2004 Digital Rights Management the Pricing of Digital Products.

Conference on IT Innovation, Institute for Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi Univeristy (Tokyo), Dec. 13-14, 2004.

European Patent Office (Munich), Patent Quality, Patent Design and Patent Politics.  December 9/10, 2004.

Arne Ryde Memorial Lectures, Lund University, Sweden. October 2004.  Promoting Creativity: Intellectual Property and other Incentive Mechanisms.

IPR University Center, Helsinki.  Conference: Intellectual Property Beyond Rights.  Presented The Law and Economics of Reverse Engineering. October 2004.

University of Texas Law School, Austin, seminar, On the Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties.  September 2004.

Duke University, Fuqua Business School, Conference: Patent Policy: Using, Abusing and Reforming.  Presented Profit Neutrality in Licensing: The Boundary between Patent Law and Antitrust Law.  September 2004.

University of Siena, Summer School in IP, Innovation and Competition, July 2004.

University of Washington, Law School, Law and Economics of Reverse Engineering, April 2004.

Washington State University, Dept of Economics, Procuring Knowledge, April 2004

Meeting on April 2-3, 2004, of the network European Policy for Intellectual Property at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa, presented Procuring Knowledge.

University of Wisconsin, Graduate School of Business, April 6, 2004, Procuring Knowledge

Tulane University, Department of Economics, The Organization of Consumption, Production and Learning.  March 2004

Harvard Law School, Profit Neutrality in Licensing: The Boundary between Antitrust Law and Patent Law.  March 23, 2004.

University of Minnesota, Dept of Economics, The Organization of Consumption, Production and Learning.  March 2004

University of Chicago, Law School, Procuring Knowledge, March 2004.

Haas Business School, Innovation seminar, Feburary 2, 2004, Procuring Knowledge

Tulane University, Dept of Economics, The Organization of Consumption, Production and Learning.  March 2004

Center for the Study of Innovation and Productivity, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco b(Intellectual Property Treaties)

Antitrust and Patents Conference, Ecole des Mines (Paris) and Boalt School of Law, January 2004, Profit Neutrality in Licensing

Southern Methodist University, September 2003. conference, The Role of Institutions in the Global Economy.

Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen, January 2003, The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties

Universtitat Autonoma, Barcelona, January 2003, The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties

Social Science and Technology seminar, Stanford University, Nov 13, 2002, The Law and Economics of Reverse Engineering.

University of Auckland, August 2002

Patent Office, Denmark, and University of Copenhagen Business School

National Research Council (National Academies of Sciences), International Scientific and Technical Informnation Programs, Symposium on the Role of Scientific and Technical Data and Information in the Public Domain. September 2002

Journees d’Economie Publique, Marseilles, May/June 2002

Ecole des Mines (Paris), Lecture on Intellectual Property, June 18, 2002

IDEP, University of Toulouse, France, Conference on Open Source Software: Economics, Policy and Law, June 20-21, 2002

Competition and Intellectual Property Law Public Hearings, Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division, February 26, 2002 (Berkeley) and April 10, 2002 (Washington).

Industrie Canada, January 18, 2002, Distinguished Speakers Series

Harvard University Computer Science Department, colloquium, February 2002

New York University School of Law colloqium, February 2002

Stanford University Law School, guest lecture, 2002

U.C., Berkeley, Department of Statistics , Neyman lecture, March 2002

Conference on the Law, Economics and History of Intellectual Property, Haas School of Business, UCBerkeley, Oct 5-6, 2001

IOFest, a Berkeley/Stanford conference in industrial organization (economics) November 2001

U.C., Berkeley, GSPP Executive Seminar (GSPP), August 2001

Stanford University Law School, March 29, 2000 Seminar

Vanderbilt University Law School, conference  April 2000

National Research Council (NAS), Board on Geophysical and Environmental Data, March 30-31, 2000

National Research Council (NAS), Science, Technology and Economic Policy Board, January 2000.

University of Copenhagen, Institute of Economics, December 1999

SSRC Program In Applied Economics, Summer institute, August 1999

Stanford Institute for Theoretical Economics, contracts conference, July 1999

International Judges Conference, Washington D.C. , hosted by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

National Research Council, Consortium for Geographic Information Systems, conference Nov. 10-12, 1999