Intellectual property rights, human capital and the incidence of R&D expenditures by Bravo-Ortega, Claudio; Lederman, Daniel
World Bank - Numerous studies predict that developing countries with low human capital may not benefit from the strengthening of intellectual property rights. The authors extend an influential theoretical framework to highlight the role of intellectual property rights in the process of innovation and structural change. The resulting theory is consistent with a stylized fact that appears in the data, namely that countries with poor intellectual-property protection may accumulate human capital without a corresponding increase in research and development investment as a share of national income. The model predicts that without minimum intellectual-property protection, additional education may result in more imitation rather than innovation. The preponderance of the econometric evidence presented in this paper suggests that interactions between human capital and intellectual property rights determine global patterns of research and development effort, and intellectual property rights tend to raise the effect of education on the incidence of research and development.