The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties

39 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2002 Last revised: 23 Oct 2009

See all articles by Suzanne Scotchmer

Suzanne Scotchmer

University of California - Department of Economics (Deceased); University of California, Berkeley - School of Law; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2002

Abstract

Intellectual property treaties have two main types of provisions: national treatment of foreign inventors, and harmonization of protections. I address the positive question of when countries would want to treat foreign inventors the same as domestic inventors, and how their incentive to do so depends on reciprocity. I also investigate an equilibrium in which regional policy makers choose IP policies that serve regional interests, conditional on each other's policies. I compare these policies with a notion of what is optimal, and argue that harmonization will involve stronger IP protection than independent choices. Harmonization can either enhance or reduce global welfare. Levels of public and private R&D spending will be lower than if each country took account of the uncompensated externalities that its R&D spending confers on other countries. The more extensive protection engendered by attempts at harmonization are a partial remedy.

Suggested Citation

Scotchmer, Suzanne, The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties (August 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w9114. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=324056

Suzanne Scotchmer (Contact Author)

University of California - Department of Economics (Deceased)

Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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