The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Transition Economies: Lessons from Bulgaria
Charles River Associates; Northwestern University
September 30, 2008
The debate over the role of strong IP rights for developing countries has been and continues to be heated among academic and policymaker circles. Bulgaria's experience since shedding communism offers interesting insights into this debate by providing a window into the part that IP rights can play in fostering innovation and strengthening a market economy. We find that the development and implementation of innovation policy requires close cooperation and coordination between all players in the innovation system. The success of any IP legislation cannot be judged in isolation, without recognizing the advantages or limitations imposed by other facets of the economy and the existing infrastructure that transition economies must work within. These factors directly affect innovation incentives and research spending, including government rules and practices and the availability of stable private financing options. Even though the available innovation metrics for Bulgaria show slow progress to date, we conclude that when the entire experience is taken in context, the nation's early move toward meaningful IPR policy was overall a positive step that laid the groundwork for those improvements that have been made and that are expected to be made.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: developing economies, transition economies, intellectual property rights
Date posted: October 2, 2008