Income Distribution Changes and Their Impact in the Post-World War II Period

World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER), Working Papers 01/2003

Posted: 20 Nov 2014

See all articles by Tony Addison

Tony Addison

United Nations University

Giovanni Andrea Cornia

University of Florence - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche

Date Written: January 2003

Abstract

This paper provides a survey on studies that analyze the macroeconomic effects of intellectual property rights (IPR). The first part of this paper introduces different patent policy instruments and reviews their effects on R&D and economic growth. This part also discusses the distortionary effects and distributional consequences of IPR protection as well as empirical evidence on the effects of patent rights. Then, the second part considers the international aspects of IPR protection. In summary, this paper draws the following conclusions from the literature. Firstly, different patent policy instruments have different effects on R&D and growth. Secondly, there is empirical evidence supporting a positive relationship between IPR protection and innovation, but the evidence is stronger for developed countries than for developing countries. Thirdly, the optimal level of IPR protection should tradeoff the social benefits of enhanced innovation against the social costs of multiple distortions and income inequality. Finally, in an open economy, achieving the globally optimal level of protection requires an international coordination (rather than the harmonization) of IPR protection.

Suggested Citation

Addison, Tony and Cornia, Giovanni Andrea, Income Distribution Changes and Their Impact in the Post-World War II Period (January 2003). World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER), Working Papers 01/2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2528028

Tony Addison (Contact Author)

United Nations University ( email )

Katajanokanlaituri 6B
Helsinki, FIN-00160
Finland

Giovanni Andrea Cornia

University of Florence - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche ( email )

Florence 50127
Italy

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