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Innovation versus Imitation: Intellectual Property Rights in a North-South Framework

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Abstract

This paper examines differences in the optimal strength of intellectual property rights protection in a North-South endogenous growth model where it is possible for the South to engage in imitation, innovation or both. The possibility of Southern innovation implies sharp breaks in optimal policy at different stages of development in the South depending on whether it is optimal to induce innovation in the South. These sharp breaks imply strong policy conflict between the North and the South at intermediate levels of development but policy agreement elsewhere.

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