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This paper examines an ex-post rationale for the patenting of scientific discoveries. In this model, scientist do not know which firms can make use of their discoveries, and firms do not know which scientific discoveries might be useful to them. To bridge this gap, either or both sides need to engage in costly search activities. Patents determine the appropriability of scientific discoveries, which affects the scientists. and firms. willingness to engage in search. Patents decreasedoi:10.3386/w11460 fatcat:7l2ampcxujfy7e7mwx5ecyucxm