Intellectual property protection and enterprise’s export technological complexity under the background of incomplete contract

LI Junqin1 MIAO Ersen1

(1.School of Economics, Nankai University)

【Abstract】Based on the realistic background of incomplete contract, this paper innovatively analyzes the mechanism between intellectual property protection and enterprise’s export technological complexity. Through the game equilibrium between the manufacturer and the supplier, it is explained that under the condition of incomplete contract, strengthening intellectual property protection will reallocate more residual claims of returns on high technology’s investment to suppliers,reduce the risk of being “ripped off” of supplier, encourage suppliers to increase investment in high technology,and then lead to the improvement of the technology level of the whole society. The export technological complexity of enterprise, calculated by using the matching data between Chinese industrial enterprises database and Chinese customs trade database, supports the hypothesis that strengthening intellectual property protection will promote export technological complexity of enterprise. The study also found that strengthening intellectual property protection is more benefit for improving the export technological complexity of enterprises with the high intensity of contract and non-state-owned enterprises, for narrowing the gap of export technological complexity between east and mid-west. Intellectual property protection can incentive human capital investment of high technical activities, activate the enterprise to innovate and improve enterprise’s export technological complexity. The empirical results show robust characteristics for samples with different econometric methods, instrumental variables and time intervals for endogeneity, core index. This paper’s study has an important enlightenment on Chinese economy how to stimulate the enterprise’s vitality and innovation and achieve high-quality development pattern.

【Keywords】 intellectual property protection; export technological complexity of enterprise; residual claims; incomplete contract;


【Funds】 Plan of Hundred Young Discipline Leaders (Teams) of Nankai University (63174018) Collaborative Innovation Center for China Economy of Nankai University Tianjin “131” Innovative Talents Team (2018)

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    [1]. ① For the detailed derivation process, please refer to the public annex of China Industrial Economics website ( [^Back]

    [2]. ① For the detailed derivation process of formulas (10)–(12), please refer to the public annex of China Industrial Economics website ( [^Back]

    [3]. ① These three methods impose more hypotheses, and these hypotheses will affect the conclusion of the model, so they are only used as robustness test. See the public annex of the website of China Industrial Economics for more detailed measurement description ( [^Back]

    [4]. ① The results of the statistical description chart and table of variables are shown in the public annex of China Industrial Economics website ( [^Back]

    [5]. ① For the detailed test results of random effect and fixed effect, please refer to the public annex of China Industrial Economics website ( [^Back]

    [6]. ① This paper also makes an analysis and description of time heterogeneity and regional heterogeneity. For more detailed test results and analysis, please refer to the public annex of China Industrial Economics website ( [^Back]

    [7]. ① Because the contract intensity of this paper is an industry variable, when the fixed effect is controlled, the fixed industry will lead to multiple collinearity, so we delete this variable. Here only the analysis of fixed firm and time effect is used. [^Back]

    [8]. ① Because the instrumental variable is the data of provinces and the instrumental variable data is sparse, it is easy to produce multiple collinearity with the fixed effect of the province, which leads to the lack of instrumental variable identification. Therefore, this paper only does the endogenous test to control the enterprise effect and the year effect. For endogeneity test results, please refer to the public annex of China Industrial Economics website ( [^Back]

    [9]. ① For the detailed results of robustness test, please refer to the public annex of China Industrial Economics website ( [^Back]

    [10]. ① There are three types of technical titles: senior technical titles, intermediate technical titles and primary technical titles. In this paper, regional human capital is not selected as the channel analysis variable because regional variables cannot describe the specific impact of human capital on the enterprise level in detail. The number of technical personnel divided by ten can smooth the data. This paper does not divide the number of technicians by the number of employees, because the number of enterprises with technical titles in 2004 is very small. If it is used to divide the number of employees, the heterogeneity of the data will loss. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3536/F

Vol , No. 12, Pages 115-133

December 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Model and hypothesis
  • 3 Data processing and econometric methods
  • 4 Empirical estimated results and analysis
  • 5 Channel analysis: channel analysis of high investment in human capital
  • 6 Conclusions and policy recommendations
  • Footnote