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Impact of Intellectual Property Rights Reforms on the Diffusion of Knowledge through FDI

By Ioana Popovici

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of intellectual property rights (IPR) reforms on the technology flows between the U.S. and countries where U.S. multinationals have established affiliates. We use patent citations as a proxy for knowledge spillovers to examine whether the diffusion of new technology between the host countries and the U.S. is accelerated by the reforms. We test the hypothesis that strengthening patent protection facilitates knowledge flows (in the form of patent citations) between U.S. multinationals and their subsidiaries in the reforming countries and between other U.S. firms and reforming countries domestic firms. Our results suggest that the reforms favor innovative efforts of domestic firms in the reforming countries rather than U.S. affiliates efforts. In other words, reforms mediate the technology flows from the U.S. to the reforming countries.intellectual property rights, patents, spillovers, R&D, FDI

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