Distributive Politics and Economic Growth
ABSTRACT This paper provides a survey on studies that analyze the macroeconomic effects of intellectual property rights (IPR). The first part of this paper introduces different patent policy instruments and reviews their effects on R&D and economic growth. This part also discusses the distortionary effects and distributional consequences of IPR protection as well as empirical evidence on the effects of patent rights. Then, the second part considers the international aspects of IPR protection. In summary, this paper draws the following conclusions from the literature. Firstly, different patent policy instruments have different effects on R&D and growth. Secondly, there is empirical evidence supporting a positive relationship between IPR protection and innovation, but the evidence is stronger for developed countries than for developing countries. Thirdly, the optimal level of IPR protection should tradeoff the social benefits of enhanced innovation against the social costs of multiple distortions and income inequality. Finally, in an open economy, achieving the globally optimal level of protection requires an international coordination (rather than the harmonization) of IPR protection.
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ABSTRACT: Focusing on the welfare of the less well off as a measure of real societal progress is the fundamental principle underlying the WBG indicator of “shared prosperity”, namely income growth of the bottom 40% in every country. This paper uses a database assembled by the World Bank Group to investigate some basic characteristics of shared prosperity, particularly its relationship with overall economic growth and inequality. Initial estimates using this dataset of 79 countries show that median income growth of the bottom 40% (circa 2005-2010) was 4.2%, a high number in comparison to the 3.1% per capita income growth of the overall population. In addition, the low and lower-middle income countries appear to be trailing the upper middle and high income countries in boosting shared prosperity. Establishing conceptual links between income growth of the bottom 40%, the overall growth rate and reviewing existing evidence on how these relate to inequality, the paper discusses two main ideas. First, shared prosperity is strongly correlated with overall prosperity implying that the whole host of policies that are important to generate and sustain growth remain relevant. Second, boosting shared prosperity will also require a concerted effort to strengthen the social contract, particularly in the area of promoting equality of opportunity. Growing evidence suggests that improving access for all and reducing inequality of opportunities – particularly those related to human capital development of children – are not only about “fairness” and building a “just society”, but also about realizing a society’s aspirations of economic prosperity.The World Bank Policy research Working Paper Series. 10/2013;
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ABSTRACT: Rice is an economically important food security crop, cultivated in almost all of Nigeria’s 36 States. Nigeria spends more than 356 billion naira (2.24 billion US dollars) annually on rice import. This paper set out to analyze the trend in rice production, productivity, import, value of import and consumption that follows the adoption of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in Nigeria, with emphasis on the effects of exchange rate (ER) deregulation on domestic rice production and rice imports over the period 1986-2010. Relevant time series data were collected and used. A semi-log growth rate model and 2simple linear regression models were developed and estimated. Highlights of the findings include (i) accelerated rate of growth in rice production (Instantaneous Growth Rate (IGR) 2.2%; Cumulative Growth Rate (CGR) 2.2%); rice hectarage (IGR 3.7%; CGR 3.8%); rice importation (IGR 8.5%; CGR8.9%); expenditure on rice importation (IGR 10.6%; CGR 11.2%) and rice consumption (IGR 3.4%; CGR 3.5%) alongside a significant deceleration in rice yield (IGR -1.4%; CGR -201.4%) (ii) The observed significant increase in domestic rice production cannot be confidently attributed to ER deregulation alone because it does not lead to a decrease in rice importation into Nigeria. (iii) The significant increase in domestic rice importation as observed contradicts a priori expectation that ER deregulation will lead to significant decrease in rice importation. The study concluded that free market approach alone cannot stimulate local agricultural production in countries where farmers producing under low-technology-agriculture are put in direct competition with farmers from advanced-technology-agriculture; hence governments need to restrict importation to protect local producers.International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics. 10/2013; 1(2):85-98.
Article: Growth-Friendly Dictatorships[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This research argues that in highly unequal societies, a rent-seeking and self-maximizing dictator may be supported by a fraction of the population, despite the absence of special benefits to these societal groups. Importantly, it is the stakes of the dictator in the economy, in the form of capital ownership, that drive the support of individuals. In highly unequal societies ruled by a capital-rich dictator endowed with the power to tax and appropriate at will, the elites will support dictatorial policies given that they can generate higher growth rates than the ones obtained under democracy. This support arises unconditionally to special benefits to the elites and despite the total absence of checks and balances on the dictator.Journal of Comparative Economics 09/2013; · 1.03 Impact Factor