Bidding for Brains: Intellectual Property Rights and the International Migration of Knowledge Workers

30 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2009 Last revised: 29 Oct 2014

See all articles by Carol McAusland

Carol McAusland

University of British Columbia (UBC)

Peter Kuhn

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 2009

Abstract

We introduce international mobility of knowledge workers into a model of Nash equilibrium IPR policy choice among countries. We show that governments have incentives to use IPRs in a bidding war for global talent, resulting in Nash equilibrium IPRs that can be too high, rather than too low, from a global welfare perspective. These incentives become stronger as developing countries grow in size and wealth, thus allowing them to prevent the 'poaching' of their 'brains' by larger, wealthier markets.

Suggested Citation

McAusland, Carol and Kuhn, Peter J., Bidding for Brains: Intellectual Property Rights and the International Migration of Knowledge Workers (November 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15486. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1501510

Carol McAusland

University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )

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Peter J. Kuhn (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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