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Intellectual property rights, migrants and competitiveness

Xiaohui Yang (Tianjin University, Tianjin, China)
Huiying Zhang (Tianjin University, Tianjin, China)

International Journal of Development Issues

ISSN: 1446-8956

Article publication date: 4 April 2017



This paper aims to explore the moderating effect of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection on the relationship between migrants and competitiveness.


This study explores how IPR protection in the sending country stimulates domestic competitiveness by creating the right environment for migrants who want to return to their home country.


The authors found that IPR protection has a positive moderating effect on the relationship between migrants and competitiveness. This impact decreases as the technology of the home country approaches frontier technology. Focusing on female migrants, the authors find that this impact exists and exhibits a U-shaped relationship over the course of economic development.


First, this is the first empirical analysis focusing on the influence of returned emigrants on competitiveness. Second, the moderating effect of IPR varies with economic development. Third, this study focuses on female migrants and finds that there is an impact, and this impact exhibits a U-shaped relationship over the course of economic development.



This study is supported by the humanities and social science youth fund projects of the Ministry of Education (Reference no. 5YJC790133), social science fund project in Hebei province (Reference no. HB15GL066), young talent program of colleges and universities in Hebei province in the humanities and social sciences (Reference no. BJ2014088) and Doctoral Fund of Ministry of Hebei Normal University (Reference no. L2013B17).


Yang, X. and Zhang, H. (2017), "Intellectual property rights, migrants and competitiveness", International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 43-53.



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