Essays on Intellectual Property Protection and Product Standards in the Global Economy
This dissertation studies intellectual property and product standards policies in the global economy. The first chapter evaluates the case for national treatment (NT) as specified in the clause of the World Trade Organization. It is found that implementing NT does not necessarily increase global innovation, and can even reduce it when trade frictions exist between countries. The second chapter compares the welfare effects of a product standards agreement based on two principles: NT and mutual recognition (MR). The main finding here is that an agreement based on NT is more likely to yield higher welfare than one based on MR when countries have rather different valuations of the consumption externality caused by the product subject to the standard. Finally, the third chapter examines trends in innovative activities as measured by the filings and grants of various types of intellectual property (IP) in several major Asian countries during the period 1997–2011. The most striking findings relate to China, where the quantity of innovation increased dramatically whereas the quality of innovation remains low relative to the world’s most innovative countries.