Washington, DC and San Francisco, California. IIPI teamed with economic consulting firm NERA to produce a review of current economic research addressing intellectual property rights in less-developed countries. The NERA literature review examines recent theoretical and empirical economic research investigating the impact of IPR protection on less-developed countries with regard to the primary measures of economic well-being — economic growth, technological innovation, and welfare — as well as foreign direct investment and international trade.

Reviewed research describes a complex interaction between IPRs and developing economies. Though the report does not attempt to break new ground in this area of active economic investigation, the conclusion indicates that additional research is essential for a better understanding of how IPR policy impacts development. For example IPRs may benefit economic development when coupled with additional incentives to promote increased foreign direct investment, or may prompt increased investment in R&D resulting in significant innovation. However, identifying the proper incentives and circumstances necessary to achieve this benefit should be an area actively investigated.

IIPI wishes to express gratitude toward the authors of this study: NERA Vice Presidents Dr. Jesse David and Christian Dippon, Senior Consultant Dr. Sourav Chatterjee, and Consultants Dr. Mario Lopez and Dr. Fei Deng.

Photo © Rob Friedman 2006