Intellectual property rights, multinational firms and economic growth
This paper develops a model of North-South trade with multinational firms and economic growth in order to analyze formally the effects of stronger intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in developing countries. In the model, Northern firms invent new higher-quality products, multinational firms transfer manufacturing operations to the South and the Southern firms imitate products produced by multinational firms. It is shown that stronger IPR protection in the South (i.e., the adoption and implementation of the TRIPs agreement) leads to a permanent increase in the rate of technology transfer to the South within multinational firms, a permanent increase in R&D employment by Southern affiliates of Northern multinationals, a permanent decrease in the North-South wage gap, and a temporary increase in the Northern innovation rate.
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