The Distributive Impact of Global Intellectual Property Regimes: An Empirical Assessment of Diffusion and Distribution

32 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2009

See all articles by Timo Goeschl

Timo Goeschl

University of Heidelberg - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics

Timothy M. Swanson

University College London - Department of Economics and Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 3, 2009

Abstract

We argue that "strong" forms of protection for intellectual property right regimes provide both enhanced incentives for innovation but also reduced rates of diffusion. For this reason it is to be anticipated that the share of benefits from strong global IPR regimes will depend upon the distance from the technological frontier of the state concerned. We examine these propositions by reference to technologically enforced innovation regimes in global agriculture. We estimate that the capacity for full enforcement of property rights over innovations slows diffusion by a factor of 7% of the initial gap between the country and the technological frontier. If this is the case, then the distribution of the benefits from an effective intellectual property rights regime will depend on the initial position of the country concerned relative to the technological frontier. The existence of this innovation-diffusion trade-off highlights the problematic international welfare implications inherent in choosing a strong global regime of intellectual property protection.

Keywords: Intellectual Property Rights, Technological Diffusion, International Agreements

JEL Classification: O34, Q16

Suggested Citation

Goeschl, Timo and Swanson, Timothy M., The Distributive Impact of Global Intellectual Property Regimes: An Empirical Assessment of Diffusion and Distribution (June 3, 2009). CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1413702 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1413702

Timo Goeschl

University of Heidelberg - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics ( email )

Bergheimer Str. 20
D-69115 Heidelberg
Germany

Timothy M. Swanson (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Economics and Faculty of Law ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+44 (020) 7-679-58 (Phone)
+44 (020) 7-6016-2772 (Fax)

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