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Have Developing Countries Gained From the Marriage Between Trade Agreements and Intellectual Property Rights?


  • Sumner J La Croix

    () (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

  • Denise Eby Konan

    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Chancellor's Office, University of Hawaii at Manoa)


Have developing countries gained from the incorporation of IPR standards into the WTO framework? We use historical, theoretical, and empirical methods to answer this question and reach several conclusions. First, U.S. history provides a clear case of a developing country which used strong patent rights and weak copyrights in the 19th century to enhance its growth prospects. Second, recent theoretical literature presents a strong case for welfare gains to developing countries from patent harmonization if developed countries pay lump-sums to offset higher royalty payments by developing countries. Third, the creation of intellectual property in new types of inventions is necessary, but the scope, depth, and enforcement of IPRs is likely to differ across countries according to their economic and political institutions, their per capita income, and their capability to engage in and disseminate the fruits of R&D.

Suggested Citation

  • Sumner J La Croix & Denise Eby Konan, 2006. "Have Developing Countries Gained From the Marriage Between Trade Agreements and Intellectual Property Rights?," Working Papers 200605, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200605

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Adams, Samuel, 2008. "Globalization and income inequality: Implications for intellectual property rights," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 725-735.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law
    • 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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