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Abstract

To investigate whether intellectual property rights (IPRs) promote or hinder seed technology diffusion through trade, we use panel data for 134 countries over the period 1985-2010 to evaluate the impact of a country’s IPRs on its seed imports from the U.S. by estimating a gravity equation using both linear and nonlinear (Poisson) fixed effects methods. In both the static and dynamic models, the variable for WTO member countries that have implemented the TRIPs (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement consistently shows a significantly positive effect on seed imports. We improve on previous studies by focusing on one type of planting seeds - field crop seeds, also accounting for status of growing genetically modified crops, and utilizing an estimation technique (Poisson) that is more viable in the handling of zero trade observations.

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