DP4713 To What Extent Should Less-Developed Countries Enforce Intellectual Property?

Author(s): Gilles Saint-Paul
Publication Date: October 2004
Keyword(s): comparative advantage, growth, innovation, intellectual property, piracy
JEL(s): F12, F13, O30, O34
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=4713

This Paper discusses a number of issues in the context of the debate on intellectual property in less developed countries (LDCs). It starts by discussing the consequences of IP enforcement in LDCs for global innovation and welfare in poorer countries. It then considers the costs and benefits of IP enforcement for a small, open LDC, abstracting from global issues. Finally, it discusses the protential merits of an industrial policy based on open source software. The analysis suggests that the view that it is best for LDCs to free-ride on the global IP regime is overblown.