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The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties

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  • Suzanne Scotchmer

    (NBER & University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

Intellectual property treaties have two main types of provisions: national treatment of foreign inventors, and harmonization of protections. I characterize the circumstances in which countries would want to treat foreign inventors the same as national inventors. I then argue that national treatment of foreign inventors leads to stronger intellectual property protection than is optimal, and that this effect is exacerbated when protections must be harmonized. However levels of public and private R&D spending will be lower than if each country took account of the uncompensated externalities that its R&D spending confers on other countries. The stronger protections engendered by attempts at harmonization are a partial remedy.

Suggested Citation

  • Suzanne Scotchmer, 2002. "The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties," Industrial Organization 0201004, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0201004
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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.
    2. Nancy Gallini & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2002. "Intellectual Property: When Is It the Best Incentive System?," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 2, pages 51-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Moonsung Kang, 2000. "Patent Infringement and Strategic Trade Policies : R&D and Export Subsidies," Trade Working Papers 21759, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    4. Suzanne Scotchmer, 2004. "The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 415-437, October.
    5. Moonsung Kang, 2000. "Patent Protection and Strategic Trade Policy," Trade Working Papers 21761, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    6. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1983. "International R & D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 707-722.
    7. Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Innovation, Imitation, and Intellectual Property Rights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1247-1280, November.
    8. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 752-769, August.
    9. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
    10. Keith E. Maskus, 1993. "Intellectual property rights and the Uruguay Round," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 10-25.
    11. Lai, Edwin L. -C. & Qiu, Larry D., 2003. "The North's intellectual property rights standard for the South?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 183-209, January.
    12. Lanjouw, Jean O. & Cockburn, Iain M., 2001. "New Pills for Poor People? Empirical Evidence after GATT," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-289, February.
    13. Aoki, Reiko & Prusa, Thomas J., 1993. "International standards for intellectual property protection and R & D incentives," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 251-273, November.
    14. Keith Maskus, 1998. "The international regulation of intellectual property," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 134(2), pages 186-208, June.
    15. Keith E. Maskus, 2000. "Intellectual Property Rights in the Global Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 99.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy

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