Patents, competition and firms’ innovation incentives
In this paper we analyze how industrial property rights (IPRs), measured by patents granted, affect competition at the industry level, and their induced effects on firms’ innovation incentives. We use for that purpose a panel dataset of Spanish manufacturing firms for the period 1990-2006. Using indicators of fundamentals of competitive pressure and factor analysis techniques, we construct a new synthetic measure of competition. Our results indicate that although the use of IPRs (in terms of industry patenting intensity) reduces market competition, it may also encourage firms’ innovation incentives (in terms of firms’ R&D expenditures and the number of product innovations).
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