Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
In the first study, I investigate how preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with complex chapters covering IPRs affect the composition of members’ aggregate trade flows, focusing on high-technology sectors. Despite the proliferation of PTAs with strong IPRs standards, their effect on such trade has not been studied systematically. The identification framework defines treatment PTAs as those in which one partner is the United States or either the European Union or European Free Trade Association—economies that include the most substantive IPRs provisions in the PTAs that they negotiate. The results are broken down by income groups and trade in specific IP-sensitive sectors. I find that the addition of IPRs chapters with elevated regulatory standards into PTAs has relatively limited total effects on trade, but strongly encourages trade in biopharmaceutical goods. There are additional important but heterogeneous cross-border impacts, suggesting that “behind the border” regulations within PTAs do influence trade.
In the second study, I extend the analysis of the first to assess the existence of IPR policy spillover effects on PTA members' trade with partners outside of the PTA. Using a panel of bilateral trade data in a gravity framework, I analyze PTA members' bilateral trade along both the intensive and extensive margins. Countries that enter into IPR-related PTAs with the United States or Europe exhibit a significant restructuring of their patterns of trade relative to otherwise similar countries that do not, in both exports and imports and along both the intensive and extensive margins.
The third study unpacks the issues surrounding joint ventures and technology transfer in China. I first explore the selection of Chinese partners that form joint ventures. Second, I find evidence for technology transfer to Chinese joint venture partner firms. Third, I investigate whether joint ventures generate externalities to other Chinese firms, finding that such externalities are positive and large, perhaps twice the size of wholly-owned FDI spillovers. Furthermore, the positive external effect is largest if the foreign firm is from the United States, and this effect is virtually absent in broad sectors that include economic activities for which China's FDI policy has prohibited joint ventures.
Ridley, William, "Essays in International Trade, Intellectual Property Rights, and Technology Transfer" (2019). Economics Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 96.