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Cultural preference on fertility and the long-run growth effects of intellectual property rights

Chu, Angus C. and Cozzi, Guido (2011): Cultural preference on fertility and the long-run growth effects of intellectual property rights.

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Abstract

How does patent policy affect long-run economic growth through the population growth rate? To analyze this question, we develop an R&D-based growth model with endogenous fertility. In recent vintages of R&D-based growth models in which scale effects are absent, the long-run growth rate depends on the population growth rate that is assumed to be exogenous. In this study, we develop a semi-endogenous-growth version of the quality-ladder model with endogenous fertility and human-capital accumulation to analyze an unexplored interaction between intellectual property rights, endogenous fertility and economic growth. We find that strengthening patent protection has a surprisingly negative effect on technological progress in the long run through endogenous fertility. Furthermore, a stronger cultural preference on fertility tends to magnify this negative effect of patent policy on long-run growth.

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