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Intellectual Property Rights, Technology Transfer and Exports in Developing Countries

  • Lei Yang
  • Keith E. Maskus

We develop a model to analyze one mechanism under which stronger intellectual property rights (IPR) protection may improve the ability of firms in developing countries to break intoexport markets. A Northern firm with a superior process technology chooses either exports or technology transfer through licensing as its mode of supplying the Southern market, based on local IPR policy. Given this decision, the North and South firms engage in Cournot competition in both markets. We find that stronger IPR would enhance technology transfer through licensing and reduce the South firm’s marginal production cost, thereby increasing its exports. Welfare in the South would rise (fall) if that country has high (low) absorptive capacity. Excessively strong IPR diminish competition and welfare, however. Adding foreign direct investment as an additional channel of technology transfer sustains these basic messages.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2464.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2464
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  1. Gene Grossman & Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2002. "International Protection of Intellectual Property," NBER Working Papers 8704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Yang, Guifang & Maskus, Keith E., 2001. "Intellectual property rights, licensing, and innovation in an endogenous product-cycle model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 169-187, February.
  3. Lee Branstetter & Raymond Fisman & C. Fritz Foley & Kamal Saggi, 2007. "Intellectual Property Rights, Imitation, and Foreign Direct Investment: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Vishwasrao, Sharmila, 2007. "Royalties vs. fees: How do firms pay for foreign technology?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 741-759, August.
  5. Taylor, M Scott, 1994. "TRIPs, Trade, and Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 361-81, May.
  6. 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.
  7. Lai, Edwin L. -C., 1998. "International intellectual property rights protection and the rate of product innovation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 133-153, February.
  8. Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Innovation, Imitation, and Intellectual Property Rights," NBER Working Papers 4081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Diallo, Barrou, 2003. "Historical perspectives on IP protection for software in selected countries worldwide," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 19-25, March.
  10. Markusen, James R., 2001. "Contracts, intellectual property rights, and multinational investment in developing countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 189-204, February.
  11. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2002. "Intellectual property rights and foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 387-410, March.
  12. Ginarte, Juan C. & Park, Walter G., 1997. "Determinants of patent rights: A cross-national study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 283-301, October.
  13. Smith, Pamela J., 2001. "How do foreign patent rights affect U.S. exports, affiliate sales, and licenses?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 411-439, December.
  14. Vishwasrao, Sharmila, 1994. "Intellectual property rights and the mode of technology transfer," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 381-402, August.
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