Patent protection, capital accumulation, and economic growth

Iwaisako, Tatsuro; Futagami, Koichi
March 2013
Economic Theory;Mar2013, Vol. 52 Issue 2, p631
Academic Journal
In this paper, we investigate how strengthening patent protection affects economic growth in an endogenous growth model where both innovation and capital accumulation are the driving forces of economic growth. In this model, stronger patent protection raises the profit flow obtained by innovation but reduces the factor demand for capital. This process accelerates innovation but discourages capital accumulation, and because of the negative effect on economic growth through reducing capital accumulation, strengthening patent protection may then impede economic growth. This result contrasts with earlier studies where innovation is the sole driving force for economic growth. Moreover, in an open economy model where technologies are transferred and capital is imported from abroad, the strictest protection of patents enhances technology adoption from abroad but impedes capital accumulation, and thus, the relation derived between patent protection and output can be nonmonotone. In terms of implications, these findings may be able to partly explain the complex relation found by some empirical studies in this area.


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