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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Treaties


Intellectual property treaties have two main types of provisions: national treatment of foreign inventors, and harmonization of protections. I address the positive question of when countries would want to treat foreign inventors the same as domestic inventors, and how their incentive to do so depends on reciprocity. I also investigate an equlibrium in which regional policy makers choose IP policies that serve regional interests, conditional on each other's policies, and investigate the degree to which "harmonization" can redress the resulting inefficiencies.

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