The effects of intellectual property rights on knowledge spillovers and innovation: An empirical investigation

Ioana Popovici, Florida International University


FDI is believed to be a conduit of new technologies between countries. The first chapter of this dissertation studies the advantages of outward FDI for the home country of multinationals conducting research and development abroad. We use patent citations as a proxy for technology spillovers and we bring empirical evidence that supports the hypothesis that a U.S. subsidiary conducting research and development overseas facilitates the flow of knowledge between its host and home countries. The second chapter examines the impact of intellectual property rights (IPR) reforms on the technology flows between the U.S. and host countries of U.S. affiliates. We again use patent citations to examine whether the diffusion of new technology between the host countries and the U.S. is accelerated by the reforms. Our results suggest that the reforms favor innovative efforts of domestic firms in the reforming countries rather than U.S. affiliates efforts. In other words, reforms mediate the technology flows from the U.S. to the reforming countries. The third chapter deals with another form of IPR, open source (OS) licenses. These differ in the conditions under which licensors and OS contributors are allowed to modify and redistribute the source code. We measure OS project quality by the speed with which programming bugs are fixed and test whether the license chosen by project leaders influences bug resolution rates. In initial regressions, we find a strong correlation between the hazard of bug resolution and the use of highly restrictive licenses. However, license choices are likely to be endogenous. We instrument license choice using (i) the human language in which contributors operate and (ii) the license choice of the project leaders for a previous project. We then find weak evidence that restrictive licenses adversely affect project success.

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Recommended Citation

Popovici, Ioana, "The effects of intellectual property rights on knowledge spillovers and innovation: An empirical investigation" (2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3268661.