NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Parallel Imports and Price Controls

Gene M. Grossman, Edwin C.-L. Lai

NBER Working Paper No. 12423
Issued in August 2006
NBER Program(s):   ITI   POL

Price controls create opportunities for international arbitrage. Many have argued that such arbitrage, if tolerated, will undermine intellectual property rights and dull the incentives for investment in research-intensive industries such as pharmaceuticals. We challenge this orthodox view and show, to the contrary, that the pace of innovation often is faster in a world with international exhaustion of intellectual property rights than in one with national exhaustion. The key to our conclusion is to recognize that governments will make different choices of price controls when parallel imports are allowed by their trade partners than they will when they are not.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12423

Published: Gene M. Grossman & Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2008. "Parallel imports and price controls," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 378-402.

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