Does Intellectual Property Lead to Intellectual Property Protection?
Researchers studying the differential commitment of countries to intellectual property rights, often appear to run into the claim that countries with a relatively higher and significantly changing technological base (the developed countries) opt for relatively stronger protection, whereas those with a relatively low and essentially unchanging technological base (the developing countries) opt for weaker protection. While the reasons for such strategic choice may vary between the two sets of countries, it appears to be a short step from the above assertion to the claim that such behaviour on the part of the developing countries results in huge trade losses for the developed countries. Using cross-country panel data for the period 1981-1995, this paper finds that the generation of intellectual property or technological change (proxied by private R&D investment) does not have any significant positive influence on the strength of intellectual property protection that nations provide.
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