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THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: PUBLIC HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND INCOME INEQUALITY
McDonald, Michael Kelly
Haufler, Virginia A
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What happens to the welfare of people, especially in developing countries, when their government strengthens intellectual property rights (IPR)? Existing research provides conflicting answers. This project is one of the few to provide large-N analysis of the impact of IPR on social outcomes: specifically health, education, and inequality. Results suggest that stronger IPR are associated with better outcomes on some key indicators of health, education, and inequality, and worse outcomes on other indicators. A detailed case study suggests that the process of IPR reform, the motivations behind IPR reform, and the institutions involved in the adoption and enforcement of IPR partially determine the impact of IPR on each set of outcomes.