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Religion, Intellectual Property, and Innovation

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Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics


This chapter discusses the consequences of informal intellectual property (IP) protection through religious rules on innovation. As religiosity is not necessarily accompanied by high levels of morality, the lack of formal IP institutions can be detrimental for technological progress. This fallacy is best visible in the case of Islam, which incorporates the protection of IP in its doctrine. Islamic societies are characterized by weak IP protection regimes, high rates of piracy, and low levels of innovation. The legal enforcement of IP rights is hence beneficial in the absence of trust in the society and cannot be substituted by religious beliefs.

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Responsible Section Editor: Dr. Olga POPOVA. The chapter has benefited from valuable comments of the editors and anonymous referees. Financial support by PRIN2017 - PI Naghavi is gratefully noted. The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Alireza Naghavi .

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Naghavi, A., Pignataro, G. (2022). Religion, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. In: Zimmermann, K.F. (eds) Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. Springer, Cham.

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