This paper provides evidence that innovative multinational firms attempt to use health and safety regulations to eliminate cheaper, generic products from the market, even when they themselves produce those products. Stricter regulations on generic products allow innovative firms to shift the market to patented alternatives while forcing out generic producers. Firms are able to win these preferential regulatory outcomes at both national and international levels of governance, despite the fact that these outcomes create trade barriers and tilt the playing field in favor of companies in developed nations. I utilize original data from the agrochemical sector to provide evidence that agrochemical producers request stricter standards on their own products when it could help them sell patented alternatives. Using longitudinal data on actual regulatory change at both national and international levels I find that regulatory institutions seemingly set up to protect consumers also appear to have helped innovative firms win preferential outcomes.
Rebecca is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Stanford University and a Pre-doctoral Fellow at CDDRL. She studies international political economy with a focus on regulation, trade, and the role of international institutions. She received a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Her undergraduate degree is from Princeton University, where she majored in politics and graduated summa cum laude and phi beta kappa.