How Many Jobs Does Intellectual Property Create?

17 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2018

See all articles by Eli Dourado

Eli Dourado

Center for Growth and Opportunity

Date Written: 08/06/2014


In the past two years, a spate of misleading reports on intellectual property has sought to convince policymakers and the public that implausibly high proportions of US output and employment depend on expansive intellectual property (IP) rights. These reports provide no theoretical or empirical evidence to support such a claim, but instead simply assume that the existence of intellectual property in an industry creates the jobs in that industry. We dispute the assumption that jobs in IP-intensive industries are necessarily IP-created jobs. We first explore issues regarding job creation and the economic efficiency of IP that cut across all kinds of intellectual property. We then take a closer look at these issues across three major forms of intellectual property: trademarks, patents, and copyrights.

Suggested Citation

Dourado, Eli, How Many Jobs Does Intellectual Property Create? (08/06/2014). MERCATUS RESEARCH, Available at SSRN: or

Eli Dourado (Contact Author)

Center for Growth and Opportunity

3525 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322
United States

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