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Parallel Imports and Innovation in an Emerging Economy


  • Andrea Mantovani


  • Alireza Naghavi



This paper studies the consequences of parallel import (PI) on process innovation of firms heterogeneous in their production technology. In an international setting where foreign markets differ with respect to their intellectual property rights regime, a move by a technologically inferior firm to exploit a new unregulated market can result in imitation and PI. The impact of PI on innovation is determined by the degree of heterogeneity between firms and trade costs. Increasing trade costs shifts from the market share losses brought by PI from the more to the less productive firm. This induces the former to invest more in R&D. At this point, sales in the foreign market become a determinant of the R&D decision by the technologically inferior firm. For low levels of firm heterogeneity, PI increases output by this ?rm targeted for the unregulated market, hence increases its Innovation efforts. A tariff policy accompanied by opening borders to PI only increases welfare when the technological gap between the two firms are suffciently large.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Mantovani & Alireza Naghavi, 2010. "Parallel Imports and Innovation in an Emerging Economy," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 038, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  • Handle: RePEc:mod:recent:038

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1997. "Public Policy towards R&D in Oligopolistic Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 642-662, September.
    2. Szymanski, Stefan & Valletti, Tommaso, 2005. "Parallel Trade, International Exhaustion and Intellectual Property Rights: A Welfare Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 5022, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Li, Changying & Maskus, Keith E., 2006. "The impact of parallel imports on investments in cost-reducing research and development," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 443-455, March.
    4. Raff, Horst & Schmitt, Nicolas, 2007. "Why parallel trade may raise producers' profits," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 434-447, April.
    5. Richardson, Martin, 2002. "An elementary proposition concerning parallel imports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 233-245, January.
    6. Keith E. Maskus & Yongmin Chen, 2004. "Vertical Price Control and Parallel Imports: Theory and Evidence," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 551-570, September.
    7. Gene M. Grossman & Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2008. "Parallel imports and price controls," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 378-402.
    8. Ganslandt, Mattias & Maskus, Keith E., 2007. "Vertical distribution, parallel trade, and price divergence in integrated markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 943-970, May.
    9. Jung Hur & Yohanes E. Riyanto, 2006. "Tariff policy and exhaustion of intellectual property rights in the presence of parallel imports," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 549-568, July.
    10. Valletti, Tommaso M., 2006. "Differential pricing, parallel trade, and the incentive to invest," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 314-324, September.
    11. Zigic, Kresimir, 1998. "Intellectual property rights violations and spillovers in North-South trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1779-1799, November.
    12. Changying Li, 2006. "Competition, Parallel Imports And Cost-Reducing Innovation," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 53(3), pages 377-397, July.
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    More about this item


    Intellectual property rights; Parallel imports; Innovation; Trade costs; Welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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