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The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties

  • Scotchmer, Suzanne

Intellectual property treaties have two main types of provisions: national treatment of foreign inventors, and harmonization of protections. I characterize the circumstances in which countries would want to treat foreign inventors the same as national inventors. I then argue that national treatment of foreign inventors leads to stronger intellectual property protection than is optimal, and that this effect is exacerbated when protections must be harmonized. However levels of public and private R&D spending will be lower than if each country took account of the uncompensated externalities that its R&D spending confers on other countries. The stronger protection engendered by attempts at harmonization are a partial remedy.

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Paper provided by Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series with number qt3pr2040r.

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Date of creation: 02 Aug 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:compol:qt3pr2040r
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  1. Lanjouw, Jean O. & Cockburn, Iain M., 2001. "New Pills for Poor People? Empirical Evidence after GATT," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-289, February.
  2. Gene M. Grossman & Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2002. "International Protection of Intellectual Property," CESifo Working Paper Series 790, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Innovation, Imitation, and Intellectual Property Rights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1247-80, November.
  4. Gallini, Nancy & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2001. "Intellectual Property: When Is It the Best Incentive System?," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9wx2c2hz, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 752-69, August.
  6. Spencer, Barbara J & Brander, James A, 1983. "International R & D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 707-22, October.
  7. Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2001. "The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt3pr2040r, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Moonsung Kang, 2000. "Patent Protection and Strategic Trade Policy," Trade Working Papers 21761, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  9. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
  10. Keith Maskus, 1998. "The international regulation of intellectual property," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 134(2), pages 186-208, June.
  11. Moonsung Kang, 2000. "Patent Infringement and Strategic Trade Policies : R&D and Export Subsidies," Trade Working Papers 21759, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  12. Lai, Edwin L. -C. & Qiu, Larry D., 2003. "The North's intellectual property rights standard for the South?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 183-209, January.
  13. Keith E. Maskus, 1993. "Intellectual property rights and the Uruguay Round," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 10-25.
  14. Aoki, Reiko & Prusa, Thomas J., 1993. "International standards for intellectual property protection and R & D incentives," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 251-273, November.
  15. Keith E. Maskus, 2000. "Intellectual Property Rights in the Global Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 99, May.
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