Three essays on intellectual property rights in developing countries Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Briggs, Kristie N.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics
  • Developing countries today face different international policies and pressures than did the currently industrialized countries when they were in the midst of the development process. Recent external pressures on developing countries to implement intellectual property rights (IPRs) are just one example. In practice many developing countries have chosen to implement strong patent policies, despite the fact that these countries have limited capacity for innovation. Developing countries are instead better characterized as “imitators” that learn from technology transferred from innovating (industrialized) countries. Therefore, implementing IPRs would seem counterintuitive for developing countries as it restricts their ability to imitate. Despite the possible costs, many international organizations argue that developing countries do, in fact, benefit from implementing IPRs via increased trade and foreign direct investment. However, the true impact of IPR policy in developing countries remains largely unclear. This dissertation untangles some of the links between IPRs, trade, and development by focusing on a particular aspect of this issue in each of three essays. The first essay considers how a country’s choice in IPRs relates to their stage in development. The essay is novel in that it brings to light evidence that a country’s choice in IPRs as it develops (the longitudinal relationship) has a distinctly different IPR-per capita GDP relationship than it has when considering the IPR choice for a variety of countries in different stages of development, but at one point in time (the cross-sectional relationship). The second essay looks at whether IPRs in developing countries stimulate high technology exports from industrialized countries. By analyzing an array of different high technology exports to developing countries, it was determined which types of high technology goods were responsive and which appeared to not be significantly effected when developing countries strengthened domestic IPRs. The third essay explores whether stronger IPRs in developing countries will stimulate their export activity. The acquisition of IPRs in developing countries is found to have a significantly positive impact on developing country exports, suggesting a possible link between IPR policies and outward oriented development policies.
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  • Field, Alfred J.
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