Journal of Intellectual Property Law, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Spring 2003), pp. 309-318


It would be hard to overestimate the influence of Edwin Mansfield's 1994 empirical study for the International Finance Corporation (an arm of the World Bank) of American business executives' attitudes toward low levels of intellectual property protection in developing nations. His paper is ubiquitously cited for the proposition that if developing countries raise their level of intellectual property protection (especially patents), they will attract foreign investment and technology transfer. In the spirit of the honoree of this symposium, I take a skeptical new look at a canonical work and conclude that the developing world should be very suspicious of the persistent claim that Mansfield's landmark survey of corporate decision makers supports a maximilist implementation and enforcement strategy across all areas of intellectual property.