Using a unique and rich database of high-technology firms in China, we show that effective enforcement of intellectual property rights at the provincial level is critical in encouraging financing and investing in R&D. Better enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights positively affects firms' ability to acquire new external debt and allows firms to invest in more R&D, generate more innovation patents, and produce more sales from new products. Our results suggest that facilitating financing and investing in R&D are the channels through which better IP rights enforcement can affect economic growth.

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