Host country's intellectual property rights and firm's equity participation

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There has been an important debate on whether the degree of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in a host country affects the choice of ownership structure of a transnational firm (TNF) for its affiliate. It is argued that a TNF's equity participation in its affiliate is used to exert control and to protect its assets. Firms with greater equity ownership can control better the extent of the technology spillover, and thus compensate for weaker IPR protection in the host country, than can firms that do not have as large an equity participation in their affiliates. Using a unique data set of a newly developed country's (South Korea) TNFs, this paper shows that there is a negative relationship between a host country's standards of IPR protection and a TNF's equity participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-356
Number of pages16
JournalReview of Industrial Organization
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Foreign direct investment
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Ownership structure


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