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Parallel Imports and Price Controls

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  • Gene M. Grossman
  • Edwin C.-L. Lai

Abstract

Price controls create opportunities for international arbitrage. Many have argued that such arbitrage, if tolerated, will undermine intellectual property rights and dull the incentives for investment in research-intensive industries such as pharmaceuticals. We challenge this orthodox view and show, to the contrary, that the pace of innovation often is faster in a world with international exhaustion of intellectual property rights than in one with national exhaustion. The key to our conclusion is to recognize that governments will make different choices of price controls when parallel imports are allowed by their trade partners than they will when they are not.

Suggested Citation

  • Gene M. Grossman & Edwin C.-L. Lai, 2006. "Parallel Imports and Price Controls," NBER Working Papers 12423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12423
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Malueg, David A. & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Parallel imports, demand dispersion, and international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3-4), pages 167-195, November.
    2. Gene M. Grossman & Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2004. "International Protection of Intellectual Property," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1635-1653, December.
    3. Panos Kanavos & Joan Costa-Font, 2005. "Pharmaceutical parallel trade in Europe: stakeholder and competition effects," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 751-798, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Stefan Szymanski & Tommaso Valletti, 2005. "Parallel trade, price discrimination, investment and price caps," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 705-749, October.
    6. Ganslandt, Mattias & Maskus, Keith E., 2001. "Parallel imports of pharmaceutical products in the European Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2630, The World Bank.
    7. J. S. Chard & C. J. Mellor, 1989. "Intellectual Property Rights and Parallel Imports," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 69-84, March.
    8. Keith E. Maskus, 2000. "Parallel Imports," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(9), pages 1269-1284, September.
    9. 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.
    10. Keith E. Maskus, 1993. "Intellectual property rights and the Uruguay Round," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 10-25.
    11. Keith E. Maskus, 2000. "Intellectual Property Rights in the Global Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 99.
    12. Pecorino, Paul, 2002. "Should the US allow prescription drug reimports from Canada?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 699-708, July.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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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