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Effects of Patent Policy on Income and Consumption Inequality in a R&D Growth Model

  • Angus C. Chu

    ()

    (School of Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, China; and Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.)

To analyze the effects of patent policy on growth and inequality, this article develops a qualityladder model with wealth heterogeneity and elastic labor supply. The model predicts that strengthening patent protection increases (a) economic growth by stimulating spending on research and development and (b) income inequality by raising the return on assets. Elastic labor supply creates an additional effect on income inequality. As for consumption inequality, the effect is ambiguous and depends on the elasticity of intertemporal substitution. Calibrating the model to the U.S. data shows that strengthening patent protection increases income inequality by more than consumption inequality, and this pattern is consistent with the data.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4284/sej.2010.77.2.336
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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 77 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 336-350

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:77:2:y:2010:p:336-350
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