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Welfare Effects of Intellectual Property in a North-South Model of Endogenous Growth with Comparative Advantage

  • Saint-Paul, Gilles

This Paper develops a model for analysing the costs and benefits of intellectual property enforcement in LDCs. The North is more productive than the South and is the only source of innovator. There are two types of goods, and each bloc has a comparative advantage in producing a specific type of good. If comparative advantage is strong enough, even under piracy there are goods that the South will not produce. Piracy will then lead to a reallocation of innovative activity in favour of these goods. That may harm consumers (including consumers in the South) to the extent that these goods have smaller dynamic learning externalities than the other goods, and that their share in consumption is small. Thus, whether or not piracy is in the interest of the South depends on how important are the goods for which it has a comparative advantage to its consumers, and what the growth potential of these goods is. While, all else equal, the North tends to lose more (or gain less) from piracy than the South, because monopoly profits eventually accrue to the North, the South may lose more than the North if there is a strong enough home bias in favour of the goods for which it has a comparative advantage.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4712.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4712
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  1. McCalman, P., 1999. "Reaping What You Sow: An Empirical Analysis of International Patent Harmonization," Papers 374, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  2. R. Dornbusch & S. Fischer & P. A. Samuelson, 1976. "Comparative Advantage, Trade and Payments in a Ricardian Model With a Continuum of Goods," Working papers 178, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Gould, David M. & Gruben, William C., 1996. "The role of intellectual property rights in economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 323-350, March.
  4. Smith, Pamela J., 1999. "Are weak patent rights a barrier to U.S. exports?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 151-177, June.
  5. Gancia, Gino & Bonfiglioli, Alessandra, 2008. "North-South trade and directed technical change," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 276-295, December.
  6. Ishac Diwan & Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Patents, Appropriate Technology, and North-South Trade," NBER Working Papers 2974, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2005. "To What Extent Should Less-Developed Countries Enforce Intellectual Property Rights?," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 6(3), pages 175-196, July.
  8. Mathias Thoenig & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "A Theory of Defensive Skill-Biased Innovation and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 709-728, June.
  9. Lee, Jeong-Yeon & Mansfield, Edwin, 1996. "Intellectual Property Protection and U.S. Foreign Direct Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 181-86, May.
  10. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1996. "Taste for variety and optimum production patterns in monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 41-47, July.
  11. 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.
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