Intellectual Property Rights, Human Capital and the Incidence Of R&D Expenditures
The authors extend the model by Aghion and Howitt (1992) to highlight the role of intellectual-property-rights (IPRs) in the process of innovation and structural change. The model predicts, in contrast to existing literature, that lower risk-free discount rate increase imitation. The model suggests that the enforcement of IPRs and punishment of imitators has positive and differentiated effects on the level of R&D. It also predicts that human capital fosters the development of R&D activities. At the aggregate level, the model predicts that national R&D expenditures as a share of GDP will depend not only on the level of human capital and intellectual property rights, but that there are interactions between these two variables, and their effects on R&D might be follow unknown functional forms. The preponderance of the empirical evidence suggests that complex interactions between human capital and IPRs determine global patterns of R&D effort.
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