Do Stronger Intellectual Property Rights Increase International Technology Transfer? Empirical Evidence from U.S. Firm-Level Panel Data

52 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016  

Lee Branstetter

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Raymond J. Fisman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Boston University

C. Fritz Foley

Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 11, 2004

Abstract

One of the alleged benefits of the recent global movement to strengthen intellectual property rights (IPRs) is that such reforms accelerate transfers of technology between countries. Branstetter, Fisman, and Foley examine how technology transfer among U.S. multinational firms changes in response to a series of IPR reforms undertaken by 12 countries over the 1982-99 period. Their analysis of detailed firm-level data reveal that royalty payments for intangibles transferred to affiliates increase at the time of reforms, as do affiliate research and development (R&D) expenditures and total levels of foreign patent applications. Increases in royalty payments and R&D expenditures are more than 20 percent larger among affiliates of parent companies that use U.S. patents more extensively prior to reform and therefore are expected to value IPR reform most. This paper - a product of Trade, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to understand the global impact of stronger intellectual property rights.

Suggested Citation

Branstetter, Lee and Fisman, Raymond J. and Foley, C. Fritz, Do Stronger Intellectual Property Rights Increase International Technology Transfer? Empirical Evidence from U.S. Firm-Level Panel Data (May 11, 2004). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3305. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=610350

Lee Branstetter (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Raymond Fisman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Boston University ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

C. Fritz Foley

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6375 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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