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Intellectual property rights and the margins of international trade

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  • Neil Foster

Abstract

Economic theory indicates some ambiguity in the relationship between intellectual property rights (IPRs) and trade. Here, we extend the empirical literature that attempts to resolve this ambiguity by examining how IPRs affect trade along both the intensive - increasing volume of existing goods - and extensive - increasing variety of goods - margins oftrade. Our main results suggest that IPRs have a positive impact on imports, which is driven by a positive effect on the extensive margin and a negative impact on the intensive margin. Splitting countries according to their level of development, market size and imitative ability, we find that the positive impact of IPRs is strongest in less-developed countries, as well as larger countries and those with a higher degree of imitative ability.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil Foster, 2014. "Intellectual property rights and the margins of international trade," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(1), pages 1-30, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:23:y:2014:i:1:p:1-30
    DOI: 10.1080/09638199.2012.664556
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2013. "How Important Is the New Goods Margin in International Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 358-392.
    2. Carsten Fink & Keith E. Maskus, 2005. "Intellectual Property and Development : Lessons from Recent Economic Research," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7443, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Campi, Mercedes & DueƱas, Marco, 2016. "Intellectual Property Rights and International Trade of Agricultural Products," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 1-18.
    2. Anja Breitwieser & Neil Foster-McGregor, 2012. "Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Technology Transfer: A Survey," wiiw Working Papers 88, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.

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