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Biodiversity, intellectual property rights and north-south trade


  • Yang-Ming Chang

    () (Department of Economics, Kansas State University)

  • Kyle Ross

    () (Department of Economics, Kansas State University)


In this paper, we examine how biodiversity levels are affected by different regimes of trade-related intellectual property rights (IPRs) in a two-way trade framework where the North and South import and export to each other`s market. This approach incorporates domestic consumption (and hence consumer surplus) into the welfare maximization problem of the Southern government in a three-stage game under alternative IPR regimes. We find that for achieving a maximal level of biodiversity and socially optimal welfare in the South, the Southern government should protect farmers` rights. Further, we find that the Southern government has economic incentives to acknowledge international patents and protect biodiversity even in the absence of farmers''s rights.

Suggested Citation

  • Yang-Ming Chang & Kyle Ross, 2009. "Biodiversity, intellectual property rights and north-south trade," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 992-1002.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-08f20006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Diwan, Ishac & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Patents, appropriate technology, and North-South trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 27-47, February.
    2. Swanson, Timothy & Goschl, Timo, 2000. "Property rights issues involving plant genetic resources: implications of ownership for economic efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 75-92, January.
    3. Brander, James A., 1981. "Intra-industry trade in identical commodities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-14, February.
    4. Susanne Droege & Birgit Soete, 2001. "Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights, North-South Trade, and Biological Diversity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(2), pages 149-163, June.
    5. Zigic, Kresimir, 1998. "Intellectual property rights violations and spillovers in North-South trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1779-1799, November.
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    JEL classification:

    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation


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