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Most middle income countries and even some least developed economies maintain policies to stimulate private sector investments in innovation. These policies include the strengthening of intellectual property rights (IPRs), particularly since the implementation of the Uruguay Round’s agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights in 1995. This development has evolved into a global debate over the merits of IPRs for spurring development, pitting developing economies that do not want to pay higher prices for innovations from the industrialized economies against advanced country interests. This debate has been carried out with relatively little empirical evidence concerning both the determinants of innovation in general and on the particular consequences of IPR reforms in developing economies.
DECTI’s program consequently addressed both sets of issues. On the one hand, we have attempted to understand the sources of productivity improvements with special attention given to the role of international integration and competition. We are examining how domestic policies and institutions affect productivity and the absorptive capacity of firms in developing countries. It is worth noting that innovation in developing countries is not only about patents, technology and R&D - it is also about product innovation and diversification. On the other hand, we have begun to examine the debate over IPRs by studying how they interact with human capital and yield improvements in innovation investment and by exploring their effects on prices, particularly those of medicines.
- It is undeniable that the global debate on IPRs has turned into a debate about ethics, because of the presumed effect that IPRs have on prices of essential medicines. Thus we also commissioned a novel study by Jorn Sonderholm reviewing the ethical issues raised in this debate - see list of working papers below.
- Can developing countries become innovators over time through education and human capital accumulation? Not quite; intellectual property rights might be required for education to raise the incidence of research and development expenditures over Gross Domestic Product. Please see the new working paper by Claudio Bravo-Ortega and Daniel Lederman.
- Did the growth of Chinese exports to the United States affect the variety of Mexico's exports? This is an important question because product variety has been associated with productivity improvements. See the chapter by Robert Feenstra and H.L. Kee in edited volume titled China's and India's Challenge to Latin America.
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Fernandes, Ana Margarida and Caroline Paunov, "Foreign Direct Investment in Services and Manufacturing Productivity: Evidence for Chile," Journal of Development Economics, 97(2): 305-321, 2012.
“Technology Adoption and the Investment Climate: Firm-Level Evidence for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.” , Paulo Correa, Ana Margarida Fernandes, and C. Uregian, World Bank Economic Review 24 (1), 121-147, 2010.
“A Multi-Level International Analysis of Product Innovation” (pdf file) by Daniel Lederman, Journal of International Business Studies 41(1): 606-619, 2010.
“Findlay-Grubert versus Rybczynski: Testing Growth Hypotheses in Classic Trade Theories Using Singapore's Industries", Kee, Hiau Looi, Journal of International Trade and Economic Development 18(4): 443-486, 2009.
“Openness and Technological Innovations in Developing Countries: Evidence from Firm-Level Surveys”, Almeida, Rita, and Ana Margarida Fernandes, Journal of Development Studies 44 (5): 701-727, 2008.
"Export Variety and Country Productivity: Estimating the Monopolistic Competition Model with Endogenous Productivity" by Robert Feenstra and Hiau Looi Kee, Journal of International Economics 74(2): 500-518, 2008.
"Firm level Heterogeneous Productivity and Demand Shocks: Evidence From Bangladesh", Kee, Hiau Looi, and Kala Krishna, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 98(2): 457-462, 2008.
“Product Innovation: The Roles of Research and Development Expenditures and the Investment Climate.” Chapter 6 in Does the Investment Climate Matter? by P.Fajnzylber, J.L. Guasch, and J.H. López, Lederman, Daniel. 2009.
“In Search of the Missing Resource Curse” by Daniel Lederman and William F. Maloney, Economia 9(1): 1-58, 2008.
- Complete list of Working Papers in located in the Library at the bottom of the page.
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