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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Intellectual Property Use in Middle Income Countries: The Case of Chile

Carsten Fink, Bronwyn H. Hall, Christian Helmers

NBER Working Paper No. 24348
Issued in February 2018
NBER Program(s):The Development Economics Program, The Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Program

We analyze the use of intellectual property (IP) by firms in Chile over the decade 1995-2005 as the then middle-income country experienced rapid economic growth of 4.7 percent per year. We use a novel dataset that contains a combination of detailed firm-level information from the annual manufacturing census, information on firms’ innovative activities from Chile’s innovation surveys, and firms’ patent, industrial design, and trademark filings with the Chilean IP office. We use these data to look at how IP use by companies has changed over time and analyze the determinants of IP use, in particular first-time use. We find that sales growth prompts first-time use of patents and trademarks, though such use does not change the growth trajectory of firms nor does it improve their total factor productivity. We also find that trademark use is associated with new-to-the-world product innovation, which suggests that branding may be an important mechanism to appropriate returns to innovation in a middle-income country like Chile.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24348

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