Publication: The Economic Effects of Counterfeiting and Piracy: A Review and Implications for Developing Countries
Policy makers around the world recognize the potentially harmful consequences of trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy. Indeed, many countries have recently initiated policy reforms to strengthen the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). Further, minimum standards of enforcement have been incorporated in many international treaties, especially trade agreements. This emphasis on enforcement raises basic questions about the actual impacts of IP rights infringement, which differ across the types of IPR and economic sectors. The authors review the academic literature and other studies in the public domain to evaluate what has been learned about these socioeconomic effects, with an emphasis on developing countries where possible. They also identify important gaps in our understanding of the consequences of counterfeiting and piracy and develop recommendations on how governments might collect data and conduct studies to better inform IPR enforcement policy.
Link to Data Set
“Fink, Carsten; Maskus, Keith E.; Qian, Yi. 2016. The Economic Effects of Counterfeiting and Piracy: A Review and Implications for Developing Countries. Policy Research Working Paper;No. 7586. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/23923 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
Other publications in this report series
PublicationCosts of Health Care Associated Infections from Inadequate Water and Sanitation in Health Care Facilities in Eastern and Southern Africa(World Bank, 2024-02-21)In Sub-Saharan Africa, health care facilities face critical challenges in water supply, sanitation, and hygiene services; health care waste management; and environmental cleanliness. With coverage below 50 percent, these deficiencies pose significant health risks to patients and health care workers, contributing to health care–associated infections. Meta-analyses and individual studies estimate rates of health care–associated infections in Sub-Saharan Africa at between 13 and 30 percent of hospital admissions, impacting patients, families, and health care providers. Rising antimicrobial resistance further exacerbates health outcomes and costs. In Eastern and Southern Africa, an estimated 3.1 million health care–associated infections in 2022 incurred over 320,000 excess deaths, costing at least US$6 billion, or 1.14 percent of combined gross domestic product in 2022. Investing in comprehensive water supply, sanitation, and hygiene and health care waste management can yield substantial benefits, with a benefit-cost ratio of 5.8 for all economic costs. Beyond preventing health care–associated infections, improved cleanliness and infrastructure are crucial for patient satisfaction, impacting future health care–seeking behavior and health care worker job satisfaction. Sub-Saharan African countries should prioritize infrastructure investment, budget allocation, staffing, and behavioral improvements to enhance the quality of health care and mitigate these pressing challenges. PublicationHow Large Are the Economic Dividends from Closing Gender Employment Gaps in the Middle East and North Africa ?(World Bank, 2024-02-20)This paper quantifies the gains in gross domestic product per capita from closing gender employment gaps in the Middle East and North Africa, using three neoclassical growth models. The paper starts with baseline impacts from the Gender Employment Gap Index, which suggests that in the long run, gross domestic product per capita would be around 50 percent higher in the typical economy in the region if gender employment gaps were closed (mean 54 percent, median 49 percent). However, the gains are heterogeneous, ranging from less than 10 percent in Qatar to more than 80 percent in the Republic of Yemen. The paper then explores short-term gains, when capital is fixed (or adjusts slowly), and gains in the medium-term, with sluggish implementation of reforms using the Long Term Growth Model, which roughly halves the gains (and lowers the gains by more than half in resource-rich countries). Finally, the paper incorporates the effects of changes in the skill distribution in a model incorporating capital-skill complementarities in production. Because gender employment gaps in the Middle East and North Africa tend to be larger among the unskilled, closing these gaps reduces average skill levels, moderating long-term gains by 5-10 percentage points. However, if women in the Middle East and North Africa continue the current trend toward greater educational attainment, the gains will be greater than in the baseline. All three models—the Gender Employment Gap Index, the Long Term Growth Model, and capital-skill complementarities—point to large increases in gross domestic product per capita from closing gender employment gaps. PublicationPresumptive Tax on Small and Microenterprises with a Gender Lens in Ethiopia(World Bank, 2024-02-20)Governments often use simplified business tax systems, such as presumptive tax regimes, to register and tax small and microenterprises. Despite concerns about how such regimes could disproportionately affect female-owned and low-revenue entrepreneurs, there is a lack of empirical analysis examining the tax burden. The presumptive tax in Ethiopia has a complex assessment system, where the tax liabilities are determined according to the activity type and turnover (99 activities and 19 turnover bands), and some activities do not have a tax-free threshold. This paper uses two rounds of data in the Ethiopian Socioeconomic Surveys and the tax code to analyze the equity and gender implications of the presumptive tax on small and microenterprises by imputing the effective tax rates. There are three key findings. First, the effective tax rates are higher for businesses in the lowest quartile at 4.3 percent of turnover compared to 1.5 percent for businesses in the highest quartile, using the most recent survey, resulting in a regressive system. Second, male-owned businesses tend to operate in sectors without a tax-free threshold and are more likely than female-owned businesses to face higher tax rates. Third, the effective tax rates are high for businesses in food and beverage services, which is female-dominated, and for transit services, which is male-dominated, due to the lack of a tax-free threshold for these sectors. The study finds that an alternative presumptive tax system with a single tax rate on turnover and an exemption for all low-revenue businesses would be simpler for tax assessment and more progressive. PublicationThe Gendered Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on the Iranian Labor Market(World Bank, 2024-02-15)Despite sizable government interventions to sustain the economy, in the first year of the pandemic (2021/22), approximately 1 million jobs were lost in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and labor force participation contracted by 3 percentage points. Iranian women were the most affected: two out of three jobs lost between 2019/20 and 2020/21 were previously held by women. The gendered impact of the crisis contributed to widening Iranian women’s disadvantage in the labor market. Most importantly, the gains in female labor force participation that had slowly accumulated since 2011 vanished. Consistent with what is observed in other countries, women with young children were the most affected by the crisis. The combined effect of school closures and unequal intra-household allocation of care responsibilities, associated with prevailing gender norms, pushed Iranian women with children out of the labor force. Whether or not these trends will be reversed as the management of the COVID-19 pandemic is normalized and the economy recovers from the crisis remains an important policy question. PublicationUrban Informality in Sub-Saharan Africa(World Bank, 2024-02-14)This paper describes the state of informal sector work in urban Sub-Saharan Africa, using household surveys from 26 countries representing 61 percent of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa and firm surveys from three countries. Five main conclusions emerge. First, the urban informal sector is large and persistent in Sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately 56 to 65 percent of urban workers are informal, half of whom are self-employed. Data from five countries suggest little systematic reduction in the prevalence of informality during the 2010s. Second, heterogeneity in the African informal sector cuts along demographic lines. Women are overrepresented in informal self-employment, men in informal wage work, and youth in unpaid employment. Third, while the urban informal workers are, on average, poorer and in less-skilled occupations than formal sector workers, the majority are not extremely poor and are in mid-skilled occupations. Fourth, informal enterprises are small and are challenged to survive and grow into job-creating firms. Few find much benefit from registration given the costs, both monetary (taxes) and transactional (information about the registration process). Fifth, access to urban public services (utilities) is weakly associated with the probability of working in an informal job, although access to mobile phones is high across all job types. If thriving urban jobs are to contribute to economic and social development in Africa, it will be crucial for policies and programs to take into consideration the heterogeneity in jobs, the profile of workers, and the urban context.