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Free Trade and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights: Can We Have One Without the Other?

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  • Goh, Ai Ting
  • Olivier, Jacques

Abstract

This Paper is concerned with the interaction between trade policies and the protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). In particular, it investigates, within the framework of a general equilibrium model with endogenous growth, the welfare implications of an international agreement on one or both policy instruments. High tariffs and low patent protection both allow agents of an individual country to consume more respectively, through rent extraction redistributed by lump-sum transfers, and lower mark-up. Both high tariffs and low patent protection reduce the incentives for firms to do R&D, and, hence, growth. The main insight concerning optimal policies are first, that the two policy instruments are substitutes and second, that they are affected by the same Prisoner's Dilemma problem. As a consequence, an agreement in both policy instruments is needed to achieve any positive welfare gains, which supports the long standing claim of policy makers from developed countries that protection of IPRs should be included in multilateral trade agreements.

Suggested Citation

  • Goh, Ai Ting & Olivier, Jacques, 2002. "Free Trade and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights: Can We Have One Without the Other?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3127, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3127
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gancia, Gino & Bonfiglioli, Alessandra, 2008. "North-South trade and directed technical change," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 276-295, December.
    2. Gino A.Gancia, 2003. "Globalization, Divergence and Stagnation," Development Working Papers 174, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    3. Viral V. Acharya, 2003. "Is the International Convergence of Capital Adequacy Regulation Desirable?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2745-2782, December.
    4. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2008. "Welfare Effects of Intellectual Property in a North-South Model of Endogenous Growth with Comparative Advantage," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-24.
    5. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2004. "To What Extent should less Developed Countries Enforce Intellectual Property?," IDEI Working Papers 336, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intellectual property rights; multilateral trade aggreements; trade policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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