Britain benefitted significantly from the presence of intellectual property rights, which came to existence as a result of ‘The Glorious Revolution”. Following the revolution, a Parliament with enforcement rights was born. Prior to the revolution, the Crown had full control over the economy. According to North and Weingast (1989, p.812), the Crown often expropriated the wealth of citizens, be it via the seizing of goods or by reducing “settled industries to monopolies under cover of technical improvements.” (W. Price (1906), cited by North and Weingast (1989, p.819)). Expanding on the latter, the Crown would award patents to firms for minor technological improvements, driving other firms in the industry out of the market. The grant of monopoly acted as a tax and thus, decreased the potential profit to be received from investment. People were adverse to the idea of inno...
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... US was a leading producer of many minerals in the early 20th century. This is not a coincidence. Rather, this is down to the governance of the state. The state did not lay claim to any minerals discovered. Instead, it gave full ownership to those who founded the deposit. This encouraged people to search for deposits (hence why they worked together). In addition, the state funded geological surveys whilst also supporting findings and distributing them to others. David and Wright (1997, pg. 224) argue that this was a “critical part” in the success of the development of the American mineral industry. The collective learning institution allowed the US to benefit significantly from their favourable factor endowments. The success may not have been as significant if firms kept their secrets to themselves or if the state demanded a cut of any deposits that were discovered.
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