Henry E. Smith

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Institutions are important to intellectual property. Information is a major subject of exchange, and the special challenges of contracting over information have long been at the heart of economic theories of contracting. Exchanges involving information are difficult because a buyer will be reluctant to make a purchase without knowing what he is buying, but once the seller reveals the information, the buyer will no longer need to pay for it. Contractors can also face challenges from asymmetric information, and some of the limits on people’s ability to contract stem from the problems of incomplete information.

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