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Intellectual Property Rights, Imitation, and Foreign Direct Investment: Theory and Evidence

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  • Lee Branstetter
  • Raymond Fisman
  • C. Fritz Foley
  • Kamal Saggi

Abstract

This paper theoretically and empirically analyzes the effect of strengthening intellectual property rights in developing countries on the level and composition of industrial development. We develop a North-South product cycle model in which Northern innovation, Southern imitation, and FDI are all endogenous. Our model predicts that IPR reform in the South leads to increased FDI in the North, as Northern firms shift production to Southern affiliates. This FDI accelerates Southern industrial development. The South's share of global manufacturing and the pace at which production of recently invented goods shifts to the South both increase. Additionally, the model also predicts that as production shifts to the South, Northern resources will be reallocated to R&D, driving an increase in the global rate of innovation. We test the model's predictions by analyzing responses of U.S.-based multinationals and domestic industrial production to IPR reforms in the 1980s and 1990s. First, we find that MNCs expand the scale of their activities in reforming countries after IPR reform. MNCs that make extensive use of intellectual property disproportionately increase their use of inputs. There is an overall expansion of industrial activity after IPR reform, and highly disaggregated trade data indicate an increase in the number of initial export episodes in response to reform. These results suggest that the expansion of multinational activity more than offsets any decline in the imitative activity of indigenous firms.

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  • Lee Branstetter & Raymond Fisman & C. Fritz Foley & Kamal Saggi, 2007. "Intellectual Property Rights, Imitation, and Foreign Direct Investment: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13033
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    Cited by:

    1. Alireza Naghavi & Julia Spies & Farid Toubal, 2011. "International Sourcing, Product Complexity and Intellectual Property Rights," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 067, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    2. Liegsalz, Johannes & Wagner, Stefan, 2013. "Patent examination at the State Intellectual Property Office in China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 552-563.
    3. Alireza Naghavi & Julia Spies & Farid Toubal, 2015. "Intellectual property rights, product complexity and the organization of multinational firms," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(3), pages 881-902, August.
    4. Stanley B Watt, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and Weak Intellectual Property Rights," IMF Working Papers 07/161, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Mathew, Anuj Joshua & Mukherjee, Arijit, 2014. "Intellectual property rights, southern innovation and foreign direct investment," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 128-137.
    6. Sener, Fuat & Zhao, Laixun, 2009. "Globalization, R&D and the iPod Cycle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 101-108, February.
    7. Yang, Lei & Maskus, Keith E., 2009. "Intellectual property rights, technology transfer and exports in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 231-236, November.
    8. Stadler, Manfred, 2015. "Innovation, industrial dynamics and economic growth," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 84, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
    9. Juan Carlos Escanciano, 2015. "Uniformly Consistent Estimation of Linear Regression Models with Strictly Exogenous Instruments," Caepr Working Papers 2015-023 Classification-C, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    10. Dinopoulos, Elias & Segerstrom, Paul, 2010. "Intellectual property rights, multinational firms and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 13-27, May.
    11. repec:bla:ausecp:v:56:y:2017:i:1:p:72-94 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Nuttapon Photchanaprasert, 2011. "Innovation and Production Offshoring: Implications on Welfare," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd10-185, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    13. Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza & Luis Castro Peñarrieta, 2017. "Can IPR Affect MNE’s Entry Modes? The Chilean Case," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 015808, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
    14. Jiahua Che & Larry Qiu & Wen Zhou, 2009. "Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement in Imperfect Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000242, David K. Levine.
    15. Luis Castro Peñarrieta & Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza, 2017. "Can Licensing Induce Productivity? Exploring the IPR Effect," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 015809, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
    16. Branstetter, Lee & Fisman, Ray & Foley, C. Fritz & Saggi, Kamal, 2011. "Does intellectual property rights reform spur industrial development?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 27-36, January.
    17. Irene Brambilla & Galina Hale & Cheryl Long, 2009. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Incentives to Innovate and Imitate," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 835-861, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • 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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