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Special Interest Politics and Intellectual Property Rights: An Economic Analysis of Strengthening Patent Protection in the Pharmaceutical Industry

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  • Chu, Angus C.

Abstract

Since the 80’s, the pharmaceutical industry has benefited substantially from a series of policy changes that have strengthened the patent protection for brand-name drugs as a result of the industry’s political influence. This paper incorporates special interest politics into a quality-ladder model to analyze the policymakers’ tradeoff between the socially optimal patent length and campaign contributions. The welfare analysis suggests that the presence of a pharmaceutical lobby distorting patent protection is socially undesirable in a closed-economy setting but may improve social welfare in a multi-country setting, which features an additional efficiency tradeoff between monopolistic distortion and international free-riding on innovations.

Suggested Citation

  • Chu, Angus C., 2007. "Special Interest Politics and Intellectual Property Rights: An Economic Analysis of Strengthening Patent Protection in the Pharmaceutical Industry," MPRA Paper 4349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4349
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chu, Angus C., 2011. "The welfare cost of one-size-fits-all patent protection," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 876-890, June.
    2. Angus C. Chu, 2009. "Macroeconomic Effects of Intellectual Property Rights: A Survey," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 09-A007, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
    3. Guido Cozzi & Silvia Galli, 2014. "Sequential R&D and blocking patents in the dynamics of growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 183-219, June.
    4. Davis, Lewis S. & Şener, Fuat, 2012. "Private patent protection in the theory of Schumpeterian growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1446-1460.
    5. Chu, Angus C., 2009. "A politico-economic analysis of the European Union's R&D policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 582-590, December.
    6. Daniel Nepelski & Giuditta De Prato, 2012. "Does the Patent Cooperation Treaty work? A global analysis of patent applications by non-residents," JRC Working Papers JRC79541, Joint Research Centre (Seville site), revised Nov 2012.
    7. Guido Cozzi & Silvia Galli, 2009. "Upstream Innovation Protection: Common Law Evolution and the Dynamics of Wage Inequality," Working Papers 2009_20, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    8. Chu, Angus C. & Cozzi, Guido & Lai, Ching-Chong & Liao, Chih-Hsing, 2015. "Inflation, R&D and growth in an open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 360-374.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    campaign contributions; intellectual property rights; patent length; special interest politics;

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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