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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. Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza & Luis Castro Peñarrieta, 0. "Can licensing induce productivity? Exploring the IPR effect," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-38.
    3. Liegsalz, Johannes & Wagner, Stefan, 2013. "Patent examination at the State Intellectual Property Office in China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 552-563.
    4. Lee, Minsoo & Alba, Joseph D. & Park, Donghyun, 2018. "Intellectual property rights, informal economy, and FDI into developing countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 1067-1081.
    5. Alireza Naghavi & Julia Spies & Farid Toubal, 2015. "Intellectual property rights, product complexity and the organization of multinational firms," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(3), pages 881-902, August.
    6. Zachary Cohle, 2019. "Explaining the Current Innovative R&D Outsourcing to Developing Countries," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 211-234, June.
    7. Stanley B Watt, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and Weak Intellectual Property Rights," IMF Working Papers 07/161, International Monetary Fund.
    8. 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.
    9. Sener, Fuat & Zhao, Laixun, 2009. "Globalization, R&D and the iPod Cycle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 101-108, February.
    10. 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.
    11. Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2020. "A tale of two property rights: Knowledge, physical assets, and multinational firm boundaries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    12. Stadler, Manfred, 2015. "Innovation, industrial dynamics and economic growth," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 84, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.
    13. Juan Carlos Escanciano, 2015. "Uniformly Consistent Estimation of Linear Regression Models with Strictly Exogenous Instruments," CAEPR Working Papers 2015-023, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
    14. 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.
    15. Mónica L. Azevedo & Óscar Afonso & Sandra T. Silva, 2017. "Endogenous Growth and Intellectual Property Rights: A North–South Modelling Proposal with Population Ageing," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 72-94, March.
    16. 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.
    17. Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza & Luis Castro Peñarrieta, 2017. "Can IPR Affect MNE’s Entry Modes? The Chilean Case," Documentos de Trabajo CIEF 015808, Universidad EAFIT.
    18. Jiahua Che & Larry Qiu & Wen Zhou, 2009. "Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement in Imperfect Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000242, David K. Levine.
    19. Papageorgiadis, Nikolaos & McDonald, Frank & Wang, Chengang & Konara, Palitha, 2020. "The characteristics of intellectual property rights regimes: How formal and informal institutions affect outward FDI location," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1).
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. 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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