Intellectual property rights, technical progress and the volatility of economic growth

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-756
Journal / PublicationJournal of Macroeconomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


In this note, we analyze the effects of intellectual property rights on the volatility of economic growth. Our analysis is motivated by the observation that the strengthening of patent protection and the increase in R&D in the US coincide with a reduction in growth volatility beginning in the mid 1980s. To analyze this phenomenon, we develop an R&D-based growth model with aggregate uncertainty in the innovation process and apply the model to ask whether increasing patent strength and R&D can lead to a significant reduction in growth volatility. We find a small but non-negligible effect that explains no less than 10% of the observed reduction in growth volatility in the US. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Research Area(s)

  • E32, Economic growth, Growth volatility, Intellectual property rights, O33, O34