The effects of intellectual property protection on international knowledge contracting
Developing countries, and particularly, those with a growing technological capacity, expect foreign technology transfers to increase when strengthening their intellectual property protection (IPR) rights. This paper evaluates empirically the impact of IPR on disembodied knowledge trade. It presents an exploration on Bilateral French Technology Receipts at the industry level for the period 1994-2000. Two main findings stem from our analysis. First, it is found that IPR affects positively international knowledge contracting. Nevertheless, our findings show that the impact of IPR protection differs according to countries' income level and technological capacity. Stronger IPR rights can deter technology contracting in developing economies. Second, the effects of IPR protection are found to differ across industries. Stronger protection is found to be irrelevant to attract knowledge contracting in R&D-intensive industries, contrarily to middle R&D-intensive industries. Lastly, our findings on industries' sensitivity to foreign IPR protection differ from the results reported by survey studies (Mansfield et alii, 1968 ; Levin et alii, 1987 ; Cohen et alii, 2000) concerning the relative importance of IPR protection across industries to appropriate innovation.
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