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Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Growth

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  • Rod Falvey
  • Neil Foster
  • David Greenaway

Abstract

Interest in links between protection of intellectual property and growth has been revived by developments in new growth theory and by the WTO’s TRIPS Agreement. The relationship between the strength of a country’s intellectual property rights (IPRs) regime and rate of growth is ambiguous from a theoretical standpoint, reflecting the variety of channels through which technology can be acquired and their differing importance at different stages of development. We investigate the impact of IPR protection on economic growth in a panel of 79 countries using threshold regression analysis. We show that whilst the effect of IPR protection on growth depends upon the level of development, it is positively and significantly related to growth for low‐ and high‐income countries, but not for middle‐income countries. This suggests that, although IPR protection encourages innovation in high‐income countries, and technology flows to low‐income countries, middle‐income countries may have offsetting losses from reduced scope for imitation.

Suggested Citation

  • Rod Falvey & Neil Foster & David Greenaway, 2006. "Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Growth," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 700-719, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:10:y:2006:i:4:p:700-719
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9361.2006.00343.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fink, Carsten & Braga, Carlos A. Primo, 1999. "How stronger protection of intellectual property rights affects international trade flows," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2051, The World Bank.
    2. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
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