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

  • Goh, Ai Ting
  • Olivier, Jacques
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    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.

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    Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3127.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3127
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    1. Mansfield, Edwin, 1985. "How Rapidly Does New Industrial Technology Leak Out?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 217-23, December.
    2. Diwan, Ishac & Rodrik, Dani, 1989. "Patents, appropriate technology, and North-South trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 251, The World Bank.
    3. Helpman, E., 1992. "Innovation, Imitation and intellectual Property Rights," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1597, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:2:p:519-562 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
    6. Rivera-Batiz, Luis A. & Romer, Paul M., 1991. "International trade with endogenous technological change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 971-1001, May.
    7. Brian R. Copeland, 1990. "Strategic Interaction among Nations: Negotiable and Non-negotiable Trade Barriers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(1), pages 84-108, February.
    8. Bayoumi, Tamim & Coe, David T. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1999. "R&D spillovers and global growth," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 399-428, April.
    9. Judith C. Chin & Gene M. Grossman, 1988. "Intellectual Property Rights and North-South Trade," NBER Working Papers 2769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Baldwin, Richard & Seghezza, Elena, 1996. "Trade-induced Investment-led Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1420, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    12. Edwin Mansfield, 1984. "R&D and Innovation: Some Empirical Findings," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 127-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    14. Gros, Daniel, 1987. "A note on the optimal tariff, retaliation and the welfare loss from tariff wars in a framework with intra-industry trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 357-367, November.
    15. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1999. "Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty and International Economic Institutions," NBER Working Papers 7293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1991. "Trade, knowledge spillovers, and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2-3), pages 517-526, April.
    17. Yong Yang, 1998. "Why Do Southern Countries Have Little Incentive to Protect Northern Intellectual Property Rights?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(4), pages 800-816, November.
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