Companies Do Less R&D in Countries that Steal Intellectual Property

The conclusions of Gupta and Wang, quoted below, are consistent with research done many years ago by economist Edwin Mansfield.

(p. A15) China’s indigenous innovation program, launched in 2006, has alarmed the world’s technology giants more than any other policy measure since the start of economic reforms in 1978. A recent report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce even went so far as to call this program “a blueprint for technology theft on a scale the world has not seen before.”
. . .
A comparison with India is illustrative. India has no equivalent to indigenous innovation rules. The government also is content to allow companies to set up R&D facilities without any rules about sharing technology with local partners or the like.
These policy differences appear to have a significant influence on corporate behavior. Consider the top 10 U.S.-based technology giants that received the most patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) between 2006 and 2010: IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Micron, GE, Cisco, Texas Instruments, Broadcom and Honeywell.
Half of these companies appear not to be doing any significant R&D work in China. Between 2006 and 2010, the U.S. PTO did not award a single patent to any China-based units of five out of the 10 companies. In contrast, only one of the 10 did not receive a patent for an innovation developed in India.

For the full commentary, see:
Anil K. Gupta and Haiyan Wang. “How Beijing Is Stifling Chinese Innovation.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., September 1, 2011): A15.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the title “Beijing Is Stifling Chinese Innovation.”)

Mansfield’s relevant paper is:
Mansfield, Edwin. “Unauthorized Use of Intellectual Property: Effects on Investment, Technology Transfer, and Innovation.” In Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Science and Technology, edited by M. E. Mogee M. B. Wallerstein, and R. A. Schoen. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1993, pp. 107-45.

Mansfield’s research on this issue is discussed on pp. 1611-1612 of:
Diamond, Arthur M., Jr. “Edwin Mansfield’s Contributions to the Economics of Technology.” Research Policy 32, no. 9 (Oct. 2003): 1607-17.

“Inflexible Labor Laws” Lead Indian Firms “to Substitute Machines for Unskilled Labor”

(p. A19) . . . , India is failing to make full use of the estimated one million low-skilled workers who enter the job market every month.
Manufacturing requires transparent rules and reliable infrastructure. India is deficient in both. High-profile scandals over the allocation of mobile broadband spectrum, coal and land have undermined confidence in the government. If land cannot be easily acquired and coal supplies easily guaranteed, the private sector will shy away from investing in the power grid. Irregular electricity holds back investments in factories.
India’s panoply of regulations, including inflexible labor laws, discourages companies from expanding. As they grow, large Indian businesses prefer to substitute machines for unskilled labor.

For the full commentary, see:
ARVIND SUBRAMANIAN. “Why India’s Economy Is Stumbling.” The New York Times (Sat., August 31, 2013): A19.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date August 30, 2013.)

Dubai Has Strong Ruling Clan, But Weak Institutions

DubaiBK2013-08-12.jpg

Source of book image: http://www.christopherdavidson.net/sitebuilder/images/DVOS_cover-210×300.jpg

(p. 4) For Mr. Davidson, Dubai’s greatest weakness lies in its autocratic governing system. Politics in the emirate, as in most of the Middle East, pivots not on institutions but on clans — a ruling dynasty and its favorites who own and run Dubai in opaque fashion.

True enough, but most of the Middle East is authoritarian, yet Dubai’s enlightened despotism and welcoming social environment have stood out for fostering economic advance. Like China, albeit on a tiny scale, Dubai is engaged in an experiment of economic liberalization without political democracy.
Mr. Davidson further contends that unstable neighbors threaten Dubai’s success, but here he may have matters reversed. When Egypt and Iran stifle their entrepreneurs, many of them find a wide berth in Dubai. When Saudi Arabia imposes cultural restrictions on its population, Dubai offers a place to drink and let loose. When India and Pakistan have trouble creating jobs for their large populations, Dubai absorbs labor migrants. When Iraq or Lebanon descends into war, Dubai profits from rebuilding them.
In short, until a vast arc of countries from East Africa to Southeast Asia changes substantially, Dubai will remain poised to benefit by providing a relatively open, secure, low-tax, business-friendly alternative.

For the full review, see:
STEPHEN KOTKIN. “OFF THE SHELF; The Glittering Emirate, Revisited.” The New York Times, SundayBusiness Section (Sun., December 7, 2008): 4.
(Note: the online version of the review has the date December 6, 2008, and the title “OFF THE SHELF; Dubai, the Glittering Emirate, Revisited.”)

The book under review, is:
Davidson, Christopher M. Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.

Cities Provide Children “Options for Their Future”

(p. 85) As Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City (about Mumbai), says, “Why would anyone leave a brick house in the village with its two mango trees and its view of small hills in the East to come here?” Then he answers: “So that someday the eldest son can buy two rooms in Mira Road, at the northern edges of the city. And the younger one can move beyond that, to New Jersey. Discomfort is an investment.”
Then Mehta continues: “For the young person in an Indian village, the call of Mumbai isn’t just about money. It’s also about freedom.” Stewart Brand recounts this summation of the magnetic pull of cities by activist Kavita Ramdas: “In the village, all there is for a woman is to obey her husband and relatives, pound millet, and sing. If she moves to town, she can get a job, start a business, and get education for her children.” The Bedouin of Arabia were once seemingly the freest people on Earth, roaming the great Empty Quarter at will, under a tent of stars and no one’s thumb. But they are rapidly quitting their nomadic life and (p. 86) hustling into drab, concrete-block apartments in exploding Gulf-state ghettos. As reported by Donovan Webster in National Geographic, they stable their camels and goats in their ancestral village, because the bounty and attraction of the herder’s life still remain for them. The Bedouin are lured, not pushed, to the city because, in their own words: “We can always go into the desert to taste the old life. But this [new] life is better than the old way. Before there was no medical care, no schools for our children.” An eighty-year-old Bedouin chief sums it up better than I could: “The children will have more options for their future.”

Source:
Kelly, Kevin. What Technology Wants. New York: Viking Adult, 2010.
(Note: italics, an bracketed “new,” in original.)

IKEA Says Government Bureaucracy Slows Job Creation

OhlssonMikaelCEOofIKEA2013-02-03.jpg “The economy ‘will remain challenging for a long time,’ says IKEA Chief Executive Mikael Ohlsson.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.

(p. B3) MALMO, Sweden–IKEA is poised to embark on a global spending spree, but its departing chief executive says red tape is slowing how fast the home-furnishings retailer can open its pocket book.

With the company set to report record sales on Wednesday, CEO Mikael Ohlsson said the amount of time it takes to open a store has roughly doubled in recent years.
“What some years ago took two to three years, now takes four to six years. And we also see that there’s a lot of hidden obstacles in different markets and also within the [European Union] that’s holding us back,” he said in an interview recently at an IKEA store on Sweden’s western coast.
. . .
IKEA plans to invest €2 billion in stores, factories and renewable energy this year. But the company fell €1 billion short of its goal of investing €3 billion in new projects last year, largely because of bureaucratic obstacles, he said. For 10 years IKEA has tried unsuccessfully to relocate a store in France, for example. The company also is challenging German policy dictating what can be sold and where, saying the rules are out of sync with EU legislation.
“It’s a pity, because it can help create jobs and investments at a time when unemployment is high in many countries,” Mr. Ohlsson said. A new IKEA store creates construction and store jobs for about 1,000 workers, he said.
. . .
The company’s highest-profile headaches have come in India, an untapped market where IKEA wants to open a first store in at least five years and roll out an additional three soon thereafter.

For the full story, see:
ANNA MOLIN. “IKEA Chief Takes Aim at Red Tape.” The Wall Street Journal (Weds., January 23, 2013): B3.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date January 22, 2013.)

Rajan Hired to Open India to Entrepreneurship

RajanRaghuramIndiaSchoolOfBusiness2012-11-20.jpg “Raghuram G. Rajan criticized Indian policy makers during a speech in April at the Indian School of Business. In August, the Indian government offered him a job.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. B3) NEW DELHI — In April, the economist Raghuram G. Rajan gave a speech to a group of graduating Indian students in which he criticized the country’s policy makers for “repeating failed experiment after failed experiment,” rather than learning from the experiences of other countries. A week later, he assailed the government again, this time in a speech attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

But instead of drawing a rebuke from India’s often thin-skinned leaders, he got a job offer. In August, Mr. Singh, who has frequently sought Mr. Rajan’s advice, called and asked him to take a leave from his job as a professor at the University of Chicago to return to India, where he was born, to help revive the country’s flagging economy. Within weeks, he was at work as the chief economic adviser in the Finance Ministry.
Analysts say the appointment of an outspoken academic like Mr. Rajan, along with the recent push by New Delhi to reduce energy subsidies and open up retailing, insurance and aviation to foreign investment, signal that India’s policy makers appear to be serious about tackling the nation’s economic problems.
. . .
Mr. Rajan said he would like to focus his efforts on three big themes: liberalizing India’s financial system; making it easier to do business, particularly for entrepreneurs and manufacturers; and fixing India’s dysfunctional food distribution system, which wastes a lot of food even as many of the country’s poor are malnourished.

For the full story, see:
VIKAS BAJA. “As Its Economy Sags, India Asks a Critic to Come Home and Help Out.” The New York Times (Sat., October 6, 2012): B3.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the article was dated October 5, 2012.)

Middle Class “Doesn’t Want to Fight Wars. It Has Other Things to Do.”

IndiaTradeShowInPakistanCloseShot2012-05-25.jpg “A booth for Motherson International, an Indian company that produces clothes and costume jewelry, at the Indian trade show in Lahore, Pakistan, in February.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. 6) LAHORE, Pakistan — On the day the Indian trade delegation came across the border, Pakistan was having another political crisis. The prime minister was embroiled in a showdown with the country’s Supreme Court. Early elections were rumored. And Islamists had just staged a rally in Karachi to protest “foreign intervention” on Pakistani soil.

Not, perhaps, the perfect moment to hammer out closer trade ties.
Yet Rajiv Kumar, a leader of the Indian delegation, was pleased. It was mid-February, and his business group was staging the first Indian trade show ever held in Pakistan. Tens of thousands of visitors would attend during three days. And Indian and Pakistani business leaders, as well as both countries’ commerce ministers, swapped cards, sipped tea and feasted at lavish banquets.
“Look at this!” Mr. Kumar exclaimed as his car rolled up to the convention center here in Lahore, where crowds were thronging for the trade show. “My God! Quite good, I’d say.”
. . .
(p. 12) Ashok Malik, a journalist who was one of the writers of an academic analysis of India’s private sector diplomacy, said the influence of Indian business is evident beyond the changed relationship with the United States.
. . .
Mr. Malik noted that the rise of India’s middle class, as well as the growing domestic influence of the private sector, has created a quiet constituency for easing hostilities with Pakistan. “The growth phenomenon has made the Indian middle class less tolerant of adventurism, lawlessness and war,” he said. “It is still worried about terrorism. But it doesn’t want to fight wars. It has other things to do.”

For the full story, see:
JIM YARDLEY. “INDIA’S WAY; Propelling a Nation Onto the World Stage; Industry Opens Doors to India’s Neighbors and Rivals, Including Pakistan.” The New York Times, First Section (Sun., April 1, 2012): 6 & 12.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story is dated March 31, 2012 and has the title “INDIA’S WAY; Industry in India Helps Open a Door to the World.”)

IndiaTradeShowInPakistanWideShot2012-05-25.jpg “India held its first trade show in Pakistan in Lahore.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited above.

Web Sites Expose Petty Corruption

RamanathanSwatiBribeSite2012-03-07.jpg “Swati Ramanathan, a founder of the site I Paid a Bribe, in India.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. B1) The cost of claiming a legitimate income tax refund in Hyderabad, India? 10,000 rupees.

The going rate to get a child who has already passed the entrance requirements into high school in Nairobi, Kenya? 20,000 shillings.
The expense of obtaining a driver’s license after having passed the test in Karachi, Pakistan? 3,000 rupees.
Such is the price of what Swati Ramanathan calls “retail corruption,” the sort of nickel-and-dime bribery, as opposed to large-scale graft, that infects everyday life in so many parts of the world.
Ms. Ramanathan and her husband, Ramesh, along with Sridar Iyengar, set out to change all that in August 2010 when they started ipaidabribe.com, a site that collects anonymous reports of bribes paid, bribes requested but not paid and requests that were expected but not forthcoming.
About 80 percent of the more than 400,000 reports to the site tell stories like the ones above of officials and bureaucrats seeking illicit payments to provide routine services or process paperwork and forms.
“I was asked to pay a bribe to get a birth certificate for my daughter,” someone in Bangalore, India, wrote in to the Web site on Feb. 29, recording payment of a 120-rupee bribe in Bangalore. “The guy in charge called it ‘fees’ ” — except there are no fees charged for birth certificates, Ms. Ramanathan said.
Now, similar sites are spreading like kudzu around the globe, vexing petty bureaucrats the world over. Ms. Ramanathan said nongovernmental organizations and government agencies from at least 17 countries had contacted Janaagraha, the nonprofit organization in Bangalore that operates I Paid a Bribe, to ask about obtaining the source code and setting up a site of their own.

For the full story, see:
STEPHANIE STROM. “Web Sites Shine Light on Petty Bribery Worldwide.” The New York Times (Weds., March 7, 2012): B1 & B4.
(Note: the online version of the article has the date March 6, 2012.)

RaguiAntonyBribeSite2012-03-07.jpg

“Antony Ragui started an I Paid a Bribe site in Kenya.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited above.

Indian Middle Class: “The State Is Preventing Me from Doing What I Want to Do”

NagParthoIndianEntrepreneur2011-11-14.jpg“Partho Nag, a childhood friend of Shubhrangshu Roy’s who lives in the same New Delhi suburb. Mr. Nag, who runs an IT service company out of his home, joined Mr. Roy and other friends as they volunteered at the Hazare protests. “We’ve been told since our childhoods, ‘Politics is bad, don’t get into politics,'” Mr. Nag said. “But the point is that somebody has to clean it up. We can’t just scold people.”” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. 1) DWARKA, India — Shubhrangshu Barman Roy and his childhood friends are among the winners in India’s economic rise. They have earned graduate degrees, started small companies and settled into India’s expanding middle class. They sometimes take vacations together and meet for dinners or parties, maybe to celebrate a new baby or a new business deal.

Yet in August, Mr. Roy and his friends donned white Gandhi caps, boarded a Metro train in this fast-growing suburb of the Indian capital and rode into New Delhi like a band of revolutionaries to join the large anticorruption demonstrations led by the rural activist Anna Hazare. They waved Indian flags, distributed water to the crowds and vented their outrage at India’s political status quo.
“I could feel that people really wanted change,” Mr. Roy, 36, recalled proudly.
It may seem unlikely that middle-class Indians would crave change. They mostly live in rapidly growing cities and can afford cars, appliances and other conveniences that remain beyond the reach of most Indians. Theirs is the fastest growing demographic group in the country, and their buying power is expected to triple in the next 15 years, making India one of the most important consumer markets in the world.
But buying power is not political power, at least not yet in India. The wealthier India has become, the more politically disillusioned many of the beneficiaries have grown — an Indian paradox. The middle class has vast economic clout yet often remains politically marginalized in a huge democracy where the rural masses still dominate the outcome of elections and the tycoon class has the ear of politicians.
. . .
(p. 10) “This middle class is less about ‘what the state can do for me’ than ‘the state is preventing me from doing what I want to do,’ ” said Devesh Kapur, director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Hazare movement rattled India’s political establishment because it offered a glimpse of what could happen if the middle class was mobilized across the country. Professionals and college students provided the organizational spine, and money, that brought hundreds of thousands of people of all backgrounds onto the streets in what many described as a political awakening.
. . .
Mr. Roy and his friends, including Mr. Nag, had grown up in New Delhi in the same government housing development. They were all the sons of government bureaucrats who would later offer similar advice: Get a government job.
“He always insisted,” Mr. Nag recalled of his father’s prodding. “But we had an idea that a government job was too lousy.”
They were teenagers in the early 1990s when Indian leaders embarked on the reforms that began dismantling the stifling licensing regulations that had choked the economy. Private enterprise, large and small, would steadily emerge as the engine of Indian growth and the delivery vehicle of growing aspirations. Mr. Nag would open a small IT service firm. Two other friends would start a textile trading company. Mr. Roy would earn graduate degrees and start a consulting firm.
. . .
On a recent afternoon, Mr. Roy pointed to a crude asphalt scar in the road where workers had installed an underground water connection. The scar extended along the road toward Mr. Roy’s house, only to abruptly turn left in the direction of another building.
“You see this?” he asked, angrily. “This is a connection that comes here, but it is illegal.”
For Mr. Roy, the scar in the street marks the corruption and collusion and the failure of the state to deliver on its end of India’s social contract. His family is supposed to get water from a legal connection for $4 a month. Except that water is unusable. For years, his father had paid a fee to fill large jugs from a private water tanker — until his father slipped while carrying one of them.
Mr. Roy then spent about $1,000 to build an underground water storage tank beside his home. Now, every week a tanker delivers a $30 shipment of water into the tank, while Mr. Roy also buys bottled water for drinking, bringing his monthly bill to about $160. Mr. Roy suspects that local officials, rather than correcting the situation, allow it to continue in exchange for kickbacks from the owners of the private water tankers. In the end, though, he pays.
These tales of petty graft proliferate across India, but especially in cities, analysts say, for the simple reason that cities now have more money.
McKinsey Global Institute, a consulting group, has estimated that India’s middle class could grow to nearly 600 million people by 2030. Today, nearly three-quarters of India’s gross domestic product comes from cities, where less than a third of India’s population lives, an imbalance that correlates with the divide between middle-class economic and political power.
“For politicians, the city has primarily become a site of extraction, and the countryside is predominantly a site of legitimacy and power,” Ashutosh Varshney, an India specialist at Brown University, wrote recently. “The countryside is where the vote is; the city is where the money is. Villages do have corruption, but the scale of corruption is vastly greater in cities.”

For the full story, see:
JIM YARDLEY. “INDIA’S WAY; Protests Help Awaken a Goliath in India.” The New York Times, First Section (Sun., October 30, 2011): 1 & 10.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the article is dated October 29, 2011 and has the title “INDIA’S WAY; Protests Awaken a Goliath in India.”)

Unable to Compete with Cotton “European Textile Workers Bayed for Protection”

(p. 390) Cotton is such a commonplace material now that we forget that it was once extremely precious – more valuable than silk. But then in the seventeenth century, the East India Company began importing calicoes from India (from the city of Calicut, from which they take their name), and suddenly cotton became affordable. Calico was then essentially a collective term for chintzes, muslins, percales and other colourful fabrics, which caused unimaginable delight among western consumers because they were light and washable and the colours didn’t run. Although some cotton was grown in Egypt, India dominated the cotton trade, as we are reminded by the endless numbers of words that came into English by way of that trade: khaki, dungarees, gingham, muslin, pyjamas, shawl, seersucker, and so on.
The sudden surge of Indian cotton pleased consumers, but not (p. 391) manufacturers. Unable to compete with this wonder fabric, European textile workers bayed for protection almost everywhere, and almost everywhere they received it. The importation of finished cotton fabrics was banned in much of Europe throughout the eighteenth century.

Source:
Bryson, Bill. At Home: A Short History of Private Life. New York: Doubleday, 2010.
(Note: italics in original.)

Government Administrators Steal Money, Food and Benefits from Poor in India

(p. A8) NEW DELHI — India spends more on programs for the poor than most developing countries, but it has failed to eradicate poverty because of widespread corruption and faulty government administration, the World Bank said Wednesday.
. . .
One of the primary problems, the World Bank said, was “leakages” — an often-used term in development circles that refers to government administrators and middle men stealing money, food and benefits. The bank said that 59 percent of the grain allotted for public distribution to the poor does not reach those households.

For the full story, see:
“India’s Anti-Poverty Programs Are Big but Troubled.” The New York Times (Thurs., May 19, 2011): A8.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the story is dated May 18, 2011, has the title “India’s Anti-Poverty Programs Are Big but Troubled,” is attributed to Heather Timmons, and is considerably more detailed than the published version.)