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Software piracy, inequality and the poor: evidence from Africa

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  • Asongu Simplice

    () (Yaoundé/Cameroun)

Abstract

Purpose – Poverty and inequality undoubtedly remain substantial challenges to economic and human developments amid growing emphasis on IPRs (with recent advances in ICTs) and good governance. In the first empirical study on the incidence of piracy on inequality in Africa, we examine how a plethora of factors (IPRs laws, education & ICTs and government quality) are instrumental in the piracy-inequality nexus. Design/methodology/approach – Two-Stage-Least Squares estimation approaches are applied in which piracy is instrumented with IPRs regimes (treaties), education & ICTs and government quality dynamics. Findings – The main finding suggests that, software piracy is good for the poor as it has a positive income-redistributive effect; consistent with economic and cultural considerations from recent literature. ICTs & education (dissemination of knowledge) are instrumental in this positive redistributive effect, while good governance mitigates inequality beyond the piracy channel. Practical implications – As a policy implication, in the adoption IPRs, sampled countries should take account of the role less stringent IPRs regimes play on income-redistribution through software piracy. Collateral benefits include among others, the cheap dissemination of knowledge through ICTs which African countries badly need in their quest to become ‘knowledge economies’. A caveat however is that, too much piracy may decrease incentives to innovate. Hence, the need to adopt tighter IPRs regimes in tandem with increasing income-equality. Originality/value – It is the first empirical assessment of the incidence of piracy on inequality in Africa: a continent with stubbornly high poverty and inequality rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Asongu Simplice, 2012. "Software piracy, inequality and the poor: evidence from Africa," Working Papers 12/035, African Governance and Development Institute..
  • Handle: RePEc:agd:wpaper:12/035
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Asongu, Simplice & Nwachukwu, Jacinta C. & Aminkeng, Gilbert A. A, 2014. "China’s Strategies in Economic Diplomacy: A Survey of Updated Lessons for Africa, the West and China," MPRA Paper 65304, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Simplice A. Asongu, 2017. "Knowledge Economy Gaps, Policy Syndromes, and Catch-Up Strategies: Fresh South Korean Lessons to Africa," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 8(1), pages 211-253, March.
    3. Simplice Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2017. "Recent finance advances in information technology for inclusive development: a survey," Working Papers 17/009, African Governance and Development Institute..
    4. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2017. "Not all that glitters is gold: ICT and inclusive human development in Sub-Saharan Africa," International Journal of Happiness and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(4), pages 303-322.
    5. Simplice A. Asongu, 2014. "Software Piracy and Scientific Publications: Knowledge Economy Evidence from Africa," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 26(4), pages 572-583, December.
    6. Simplice A. Asongu, 2017. "Boosting Scientific Publications in Africa: Which IPRs Protection Channels Matter?," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 8(1), pages 197-210, March.
    7. Simplice A. Asongu, 2017. "The Comparative Economics of Knowledge Economy in Africa: Policy Benchmarks, Syndromes, and Implications," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 8(2), pages 596-637, June.
    8. Simplice A Asongu, 2013. "Modeling the future of knowledge economy: evidence from SSA and MENA countries," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 612-624.
    9. Simplice Asongu, 2016. "Reinventing Foreign Aid For Inclusive And Sustainable Development: Kuznets, Piketty And The Great Policy Reversal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 736-755, September.
    10. Simplice Asongu, 2015. "The impact of mobile phone penetration on African inequality," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 42(8), pages 706-716, August.
    11. Simplice Asongu & De Moor Lieven, 2015. "Recent advances in finance for inclusive development: a survey," Working Papers 15/005, African Governance and Development Institute..
    12. Asongu, Simplice, 2014. "Reinventing foreign aid for inclusive and sustainable development: a survey," MPRA Paper 65300, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Piracy; Intellectual property rights; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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