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The Negatvity of Patents on R&D Investment. A Panel Data Analysis

Author(s): Almeida, Alexandre Filipe Silveira de cv logo 1

Date: 2009

Persistent ID: http://hdl.handle.net/10216/7475

Origin: Repositório Aberto da Universidade do Porto

Subject(s): Patents; R&D; panel data; convergence clubs JEL-codes: O31; O34; ECONOMIA; Porto


Description
The relationship between patents and R&D involves different levels besides the ones most obvious to us. Throughout the history of economics, patents have arisen as the core of a system of incentives to private pursue of R&D investments, providing the mechanism that guaranteed the appropriability of the output of the knowledge produced. The seminal work of Romer (1990) demonstrated the need to develop a system to assure the necessary return on innovative efforts and thus privately sustain a model of continuous technological improvement and economic growth. Patenting would result in imperfect competition and legally establish the monopoly over the use of the knowledge produced. This led to patents being perceived as an intermediate output of R&D efforts. Though this relationship has been subject of intensive study by economists, the reverse causality issue remains to be thoroughly analyzed, particularly in a negative sense. Can more patents have a negative effect on R&D investment? In the present thesis we address this question, synthesizing the theoretical and empirical studies concerning both the conventional R&D-patents relationship and the reverse causality, in particular, the potential for a negative impact of patents over R&D. The theoretical survey on this issue uncovered several gaps in the literature, specifically in terms of availability of empirical analysis at the country level. Despite the literature on reverse causality direction being scarce; the macroeconomic perspective on this issue is even more unexplored. In fact, there is no evidence that ruled out the possibility of asymmetric effects of patents on R&D in accordance to the level of GDP and technology in general, and to `convergence clubs in particular. Using panel data econometric estimation methods on a sample of 88 countries, over a eight-year period (1996-2003), and controlling for clubs of convergence to account for differences among countries in stages of economic development, we found mix support to the negativity of patent on R&D investment. Stratifying the sample by convergence clubs we obtain that accumulated patents positively impact on R&D intensity for the set of less developed countries whereas no statistically significant effect emerges in the case of higher developed converge clubs. Interestingly, when we restrict the highest developed convergence club down to countries with a R&D intensity above 3%, the negativity reverse causality arises, corroborating the asymmetric impact of patents on R&D investment depending on countries development and technological stage. Finally, we demonstrate that albeit causality appears to be stronger in the most intuitive appealing traditional direction, there is evidence supporting the theoretical conveyed double causality between R&D and Patent. JEL-codes: O31, O34 Economia MASTERS IN ECONOMICS
Document Type Master Thesis
Language Portuguese
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