Event: SOE Seminar Series: Olena Ivus, Queens University
Olena Ivus, Queens University, Associate Professor & E. Marie Shantz Fellow for Business Economics.
Seminar Paper: “Migration and the Composition of Imitation,” co-authored with Alireza Naghavi (University of Bologna) and Larry D. Qiu (University of Hong Kong).
This paper develops a North-South trade model with heterogeneous labour and horizontally-differentiated products. It compares the implications of two policies: intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the South and Northern migration policy which aims to attract Southern talent as means of preempting imitation. Northern individuals can become entrepreneurs whereas Southern individuals can become imitators. The likelihood of imitation depends on the quality of varieties, ability of imitators, and the IPR regime. The analysis identifies several interrelated channels of competition. An open immigration policy under weak IPRs shifts imitation from high to low-quality products and increases the average quality of invented varieties. The outcome is in stark contrast to the impact of directly imposing stronger IPRs, which instead limits the imitation of andencourages the introduction of low-quality varieties.