IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do stronger intellectual property rights increase international technology transfer? Empirical evidence from U.S. firm-level panel data


  • Branstetter, Lee G.
  • Fisman, Raymond
  • Foley, C. Fritz


One of the alleged benefits of the recent global movement to strengthen intellectual property rights (IPRs) is that such reforms accelerate transfers of technology between countries. The paper examines how technology transfer among U.S. multinational firms changes in response to a series of IPR reforms undertaken by 12 countries over the 1982-99 period. The analysis of detailed firm-level data reveal that royalty payments for intangibles transferred to affiliates increase at the time of reforms, as do affiliate research and development (R&D) expenditures and total levels of foreign patent applications. Increases in royalty payments and R&D expenditures are more than 20 percent larger among affiliates of parent companies that use U.S. patents more extensively prior to reform and therefore are expected to value IPR reform most.

Suggested Citation

  • Branstetter, Lee G. & Fisman, Raymond & Foley, C. Fritz, 2004. "Do stronger intellectual property rights increase international technology transfer? Empirical evidence from U.S. firm-level panel data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3305, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3305

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3305. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Roula I. Yazigi (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.