Innovation, Imitation, and Intellectual Property Rights

53 Pages Posted: 28 May 2004 Last revised: 28 Aug 2010

See all articles by Elhanan Helpman

Elhanan Helpman

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: May 1992

Abstract

The debate between the North and the South about the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the South is examined within a dynamic general equilibrium framework in which the North innovates new products and the South imitates them. A welfare evaluation of a policy of tighter intellectual property rights is provided by decomposing a region's welfare change into four components: terms of trade, production composition, available product choice and intertemporal allocation of consumption spending. The paper provides a theoretical evaluation of each one of these components and their relative size. The analysis proceeds in stages. It begins with an exogenous rate of innovation in order to focus on the first two components. The last two components are added by endogenizing the rate of innovation. Finally, the paper considers the role of foreign direct investment.

Suggested Citation

Helpman, Elhanan, Innovation, Imitation, and Intellectual Property Rights (May 1992). NBER Working Paper No. w4081. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=336357

Elhanan Helpman (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-4690 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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