Intellectual Property For Economic Development: a new book

Intellectual Property For Economic Development is yet another title from the seemingly inexhaustible source of IP-related literature that is Edward Elgar Publishing.  This tome is edited by a three-person team consisting of Sanghoon Ahn (Fellow, Korea Development Institute, Korea, and Senior Economist, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), Bronwyn H. Hall (Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley, and Professor of Technology and the Economy, University of Maastricht, not to mention being a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, US, and the Institute of Fiscal Studies, London), not to forget Keun Lee (Professor, Seoul National University, South Korea [and, judging by titles, the only member of the editorial board who seems to managing with just one job, says Merpel, who wonders whether we shouldn't be paying our academics a bit more]).

So what is this book -- part of the KDI Series in Economic Policy and Development -- all about? As ever, the publishers have their say. This is the information from the web-blurb:  
Protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) serves a dual role in economic development. While it promotes innovation by providing legal protection of inventions [thus suggesting that IPERs here are specifically those that protect inventions, such as patents and utility models], it may retard catch-up and learning by restricting the diffusion of innovations [and therefore embracing copyright too?]. Does stronger IPR protection in a developing country encourage technology development in or technology transfer to that country? This book aims to address the issue, covering diverse forms of IPRs, varied actors in innovation, and multiple case studies from Asia and Latin America. IPRs and their interaction with other factors such as such as the quality of knowledge institutions (e.g. academia, public research institutes or industrial research centres such as science parks), availability of trained human capital [Merpel wonder, in these days of artificial intelligence, should the term 'trained human capital' extend to robotics and cybernetics ...?], and networks for research collaboration or interaction (e.g. university-industry research collaboration or international collaboration) in a development context, is the subject of this book.

Intellectual Property for Economic Development:

• Considers the diverse forms of IPRs and technology transfer and their implications for economic development.

• Analyzes the role of inventors in different contexts including those in universities and in domestic and international mobility and collaborations.

• Presents in-depth analyses of specific issues involving IPRs in the context of countries at different levels of development, including Mexico, China and Korea. Focus is paid to the differences between East Asia and Latin America.

This book will appeal to academics and researchers in the areas of development economics, the economics of IP, law and economics and IP innovation.
Considering that Park is the third most common Korean surname and that he has met many IP-focused Parks over the years, this Kat was amused to spot that only one Park features in this work, this being Walter G. Park, a professor of economics at the American University. His chapter on channels of tech transfer and IP rights in developing countries, co-authored with the OECD's Douglas Lippoldt, is the longest contribution to this collection and, in this reviewer's opinion, the pivotal contribution which provides a solid factual basis and framework for what for many readers might seem an amorphous work and a slightly random, the main thing which the countries selected for analysis have in common is that none of them is in, or near, Africa. Another chapter to commend, if only because it confirms this reviewer's long-held prejudices, is Keun Lee and Yee Kyoung Kim's analysis of the comparative impact of patents and second-tier protection on development in Korea, illuminating the effectiveness of utility model protection when properly deployed. All in all, this is a more informative and interesting book than this Kat feared it might be when he first opened it -- and he's glad he did.

Bibliographic data: 2014 viii + 315 pp. Hardback ISBN 978 1 78254 804 1;  ebook ISBN 978 1 78254 805 8. Hardback price £85 (online from the publishers £76.50).  Rupture factor: low. Book's web page here.
Intellectual Property For Economic Development: a new book Intellectual Property For Economic Development: a new book Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. The role of IPR's in helping or hindering development is an interesting topic and hugely important to get right. I think many would agree that development in many countries will require acquiring innovation ecosystems combined with appropriate venture capital systems. IP has to be an important part of that, but I suspect proper analysis is needed distinguishing between foreign-owned and domestic-owned IPR's. Getting a domestic innovation system off the ground may require temporary use of TRIPS loopholes which many countries seem unable to utilize.

  2. Yeah it is quite important that everyone knows about IPR and other basic economic things. A many times due to unawareness about things can do a big damage. This is what our accounts professor Aloke Ghosh used to tell us.


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