PurposeThis paper aims to study the effects of the strength of patent enforcement on economic growth following the signing of the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the role of inward foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in mediating and enhancing this relationship.Design/methodology/approachFollowing a generalized method of moments methodology, use is made of a new longitudinal index measuring the strength of enforcement-related aspects of patent systems.FindingsStronger levels of patent enforcement have a significant positive effect on the economic growth of both developed and developing countries. Importantly, inward FDI flows have a mediating role in positively boosting this effect for all countries and particularly for developed countries.Originality/valueThis is the first empirical study of the role of the strength of patent enforcement (“law in action”) in stimulating economic growth, as previous empirical studies have focused on the effect of the strength of patent law protection (“law on the books”). The failure in the past to allow for “law in action” was mainly due to the lack of available data that could proxy for the strength of patent enforcement levels in a country. This study utilizes a newly published, longitudinal index that captures the strength of the enforcement-related aspects of patent systems.
Multinational Business Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 12, 2016
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