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

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  • Saint-Paul, Gilles

Abstract

This paper develops a model for analyzing 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 favor 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 favor of the goods for which it has a comparative advantage.
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Suggested Citation

  • Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2004. "Welfare Effects of Intellectual Property in a North-South Model of Endogenous Growth with Comparative Advantage," IDEI Working Papers 309, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised May 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:2893
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McCalman, Phillip, 2001. "Reaping what you sow: an empirical analysis of international patent harmonization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 161-186, October.
    2. 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 181-186, May.
    3. Diwan, Ishac & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Patents, appropriate technology, and North-South trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 27-47, February.
    4. 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.
    5. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1996. "Taste for variety and optimum production patterns in monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 41-47, July.
    6. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-839, December.
    7. 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.
    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. OLIVIER, Jacques & GOH, Ai-Ting, 2001. "Free trade and protection of intellectual property rights : can we have one without the other?," Les Cahiers de Recherche 730, HEC Paris.
    10. Gancia, Gino & Bonfiglioli, Alessandra, 2008. "North-South trade and directed technical change," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 276-295, December.
    11. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2005. "To What Extent Should Less-Developed Countries Enforce Intellectual Property Rights?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 6(3), pages 175-196, July.
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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. Eicher, Theo & García-Peñalosa, Cecilia, 2008. "Endogenous strength of intellectual property rights: Implications for economic development and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 237-258, February.
    3. Borota, Teodora, 2010. "Innovation and Imitation in a Model of North-South TradeRecent evidence on world trade patterns reveals North-South specialization across," Working Paper Series 2010:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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