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INNOVATION AND IMITATION: EFFECTS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN A PRODUCT-CYCLE MODEL OF SKILLS ACCUMULATION

Hung-Ju Chen

Macroeconomic Dynamics, 2018, vol. 22, issue 6, 1475-1509

Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of stronger intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in the South on innovation, imitation, the pattern of production, and wage inequality based on a North–South product-cycle model with foreign direct investment (FDI) and skills accumulation. This quality-ladder model features innovative R&D in the North and imitative R&D in the South. Two types of innovations are considered: innovation targeting all products and innovation targeting only imitated products. We find that for both types of innovations, strengthening IPR protection reduces the innovation rate and raises the imitation rate. There is also an increase in the proportion of Northern unskilled labor and a decrease in Northern wage inequality. As for the pattern of production, strengthening IPR protection may reduce the extent of FDI.

Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Innovation and imitation: effects of intellectual property rights in a product-cycle model of skills accumulation (2015) Downloads
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