Intellectual Property-Related Preferential Trade Agreements and the Composition of Trade
43 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2016
Date Written: September 2016
This paper investigates the role of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with complex chapters covering intellectual property rights (IPRs) in determining the magnitude and composition of countries’ trade. Changes in the global IPRs environment have increasingly been negotiated within the terms of PTAs. Despite the proliferation of PTAs with strong IPRs standards, little attention has been paid to their effects on the trade of member countries. Using a carefully designed empirical framework to measure the effects of agreement membership on aggregate imports and exports, we find that trade agreements with IPRs chapters have significant impacts on members’ aggregate trade. The results are further broken down by income groups and the composition of sectoral trade. The findings accord with predicted relationships from previous research on IPRs and trade and suggest that regulatory aspects of trade agreements have important cross-border impacts. This possibility has been little studied to date.
Keywords: China, intellectual property, IPRs, innovation policy, trade agreements
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