Macroeconomic Theory of Intellectual Property Rights

  • Nikolaus Thumm
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


The aim of this chapter is to provide more evidence on the welfare and innovative effects of expanding the geographic breadth of intellectual property rights. The issue has been of particular interest on a global level for the resolution on trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPs) during the GATT Uruguay round (1986–93). There, it was the conflict of interests between industrialised first world and developing third world countries that gave impetus for an extensive worldwide debate. Economic theory has dealt with this difficulty by studying two country models and reducing it to a North-South conflict. However, the issue is a more general one and also arises when studying harmonisation of intellectual property rights within the European Union and for the transition process in Central and Eastern European Countries.


Foreign Direct Investment Intellectual Property Consumer Surplus Patent Protection Innovation Rate 
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  1. 139.
    Cottier [1992] finds the whole discussion on harmonisation of intellectual property rights heavily dominated by ideology and requires thus more empirical research.Google Scholar
  2. 140.
    Deardorff [1990] p. 507.Google Scholar
  3. 141.
    Article 65 of the TRIPs agreement allows developing countries and countries in transition a period of four years delay in enforcement.Google Scholar
  4. 142.
    That is as long as there is no detrimental effect of imitation in a relatively „small“ country on innovative activity. See e.g. Subramanian [1991] p. 951.Google Scholar
  5. 143.
    The model does not consider the possibility of Southern learning, catching-up and leapfrogging are excluded.Google Scholar
  6. 144.
    For the use of intellectual property rights as an instrument of a strategic trade policy, see Subramanian [1991].Google Scholar
  7. 145.
    On the difficulty of distinguishing the various factors of influence, see Correa [1995] page 191.Google Scholar
  8. 146.
    Mansfield [1994] page 20.Google Scholar
  9. 147.
    Compare Correa [1995] page 191.Google Scholar
  10. 148.
    United Nations [1993] page 25.Google Scholar
  11. 149.
    Correa [1995] page 197 and United Nations [1993] page 34.Google Scholar
  12. 150.
    According to Maskus, Penubarti [1995] intellectual property rights influence national growth rates more throughout their positive influence on trade performance than by stimulating R&D investments.Google Scholar
  13. 151.
    OECD [1989] page 8.Google Scholar
  14. 152.
    With weak patent protection, companies could e.g. shift from exports to foreign direct investment in order to retain control over technological information.Google Scholar
  15. 153.
    Stronger patent laws attract greater bilateral trade across all nations… intellectual property rights are „indeed“ trade related”. Maskus Penubarti [1995] page 241.Google Scholar
  16. 154.
    Ibid page 244.Google Scholar
  17. 155.
    See again Siebert [1991] p. 810.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolaus Thumm
    • 1
  1. 1.European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective, Technological StudiesW.T.C.SevillaSpain

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