Patent Laws and Innovation in China
This paper explores whether the patent law and intellectual property rights (IPR) system have resulted in innovation in China during the reform period. It appears that the patent laws have produced a stock of patents, where the success rates of patent applications are fairly uniform across the country. As the IPR framework does not vary across provinces, we asked which factors would explain innovation in China. We find the main determinants of patents to be R&D expenditure and foreign direct investment, but not the number of researchers, though the level of human capital matters. We conclude that the patent laws in China have been associated with innovation that has accompanied economic growth despite imperfections in the legal system.
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