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Intellectual Property Rights, Imitation, and Foreign Direct Investment: Theory and Evidence

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  • Lee Branstetter
  • Raymond Fisman
  • C. Fritz Foley
  • Kamal Saggi

Abstract

This paper theoretically and empirically analyzes the effect of strengthening intellectual property rights in developing countries on the level and composition of industrial development. We develop a North-South product cycle model in which Northern innovation, Southern imitation, and FDI are all endogenous. Our model predicts that IPR reform in the South leads to increased FDI in the North, as Northern firms shift production to Southern affiliates. This FDI accelerates Southern industrial development. The South's share of global manufacturing and the pace at which production of recently invented goods shifts to the South both increase. Additionally, the model also predicts that as production shifts to the South, Northern resources will be reallocated to R&D, driving an increase in the global rate of innovation. We test the model's predictions by analyzing responses of U.S.-based multinationals and domestic industrial production to IPR reforms in the 1980s and 1990s. First, we find that MNCs expand the scale of their activities in reforming countries after IPR reform. MNCs that make extensive use of intellectual property disproportionately increase their use of inputs. There is an overall expansion of industrial activity after IPR reform, and highly disaggregated trade data indicate an increase in the number of initial export episodes in response to reform. These results suggest that the expansion of multinational activity more than offsets any decline in the imitative activity of indigenous firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13033.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13033

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Cited by:
  1. Alireza Naghavi & Julia Spies & Farid Toubal, 2013. "Intellectual Property Rights, Product Complexity, and the Organization of Multinational Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 4430, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Anuj J. Mathew & Arijit Mukherjee, 2009. "Intellectual property rights, southern innovation and foreign direct investment," Faculty Working Papers 15/09, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
  3. Jiahua Che & Larry Qiu & Wen Zhou, 2009. "Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement in Imperfect Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000242, David K. Levine.
  4. Branstetter, Lee & Fisman, Ray & Foley, C. Fritz & Saggi, Kamal, 2011. "Does intellectual property rights reform spur industrial development?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 27-36, January.
  5. Johannes Liegsalz & Stefan Wagner, 2011. "Patent examination at the State Intellectual Property Office in China," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-11-06, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  6. Alireza Naghavi & Julia Spies & Farid Toubal, 2011. "International Sourcing, Product Complexity and Intellectual Property Rights," Working Papers 2011.78, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Yang, Lei & Maskus, Keith E., 2009. "Intellectual property rights, technology transfer and exports in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 231-236, November.
  8. Nuttapon Photchanaprasert, 2011. "Innovation and Production Offshoring: Implications on Welfare," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd10-185, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  9. Stanley Watt, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and Weak Intellectual Property Rights," IMF Working Papers 07/161, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Dinopoulos, Elias & Segerstrom, Paul, 2010. "Intellectual property rights, multinational firms and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 13-27, May.

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