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Knowledge Enclosures, Forced Specializations and Investment Crisis

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  • Filippo Belloc
  • Ugo Pagano

Abstract

Like land before the industrial revolution, in the present global economy much knowledge is being enclosed in private hands. In this paper we argue that these enclosures have become a major factor in specialization among firms and among countries: both are forced to specialize in the fields that are not restricted by the enclosures of the others. We use data on 26 OECD countries over the 1978-2006 period. We estimate the effect of patents endowments of countries on their investment specialization across sectors and show that knowledge enclosures involve self-reinforcing innovation patterns. Moreover, we perform a structural change analysis and find that the TRIPs agreement has significantly strengthened the relationship between countries' patents specialization and investment specialization. We conclude by suggesting that stronger international patent protection may restrict global investment opportunities, and this may be one of the factors contributing to the present crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Filippo Belloc & Ugo Pagano, 2012. "Knowledge Enclosures, Forced Specializations and Investment Crisis," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 9(3), pages 445-483, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:9:y:2012:i:3:p:445-483
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    Cited by:

    1. Ugo Pagano, 2016. "Knowledge as a Global Common and the Crisis of the Learning Economy," Department of Economics University of Siena 743, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    2. Nicita, Antonio & Pagano, Ugo, 2016. "Finance-technology complementarities: An organizational equilibria approach," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 43-51.
    3. Ugo Pagano & Maria Alessandra Rossi, 2016. "The knowledge economy, the crash and the depression," Department of Economics University of Siena 741, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    4. Fabio Landini & Ugo Pagano, 2013. "Synergy, Conflict and Institutional Complementarities," Department of Economics University of Siena 686, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    5. Caregari, Davide, 2010. "Diritti di proprietà intellettuale: sviluppi recenti e prospettive di riforma
      [Intellectual property rights: recent developements and reform prospects]
      ," MPRA Paper 28132, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    IPRs; innovation; knowledge enclosure; technological specialization;

    JEL classification:

    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • P17 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Performance and Prospects

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