One size does not fit all… An economic development perspective on the asymmetric impact of Patents on R&D
Innovation is the building block of competitive advantages and thus economic policies are increasingly focused on creating stimulus to increase a country’s innovative performance and growth potential, namely through knowledge accumulation in general and R&D in particular. In this context, current policy trend seems to support the strengthening of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), in particular, patent protection, with the argument that positive effects will emerge and would be extensive to all countries regardless their level of development. In this paper we question this “one size fits all” policy and assess how patent thicket affects knowledge productive investment taking into account countries’ development levels. Based on a panel of 95 countries over a ten-year period (1997-2006), our results show that patents have asymmetric impacts across countries development stages, evidencing pervious effects on technological leaders and positive ones on some laggards. Such evidence sustains that innovation policies be adjusted to countries development stages.
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