IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Transfer of technology to developing countries : unilateral and multilateral policy options

  • Hoekman, Bernard M.
  • Maskus, Keith E.
  • Saggi, Kamal

The authors analyze national and international policy options to encourage the international transfer of technology, distinguishing between four major channels of such transfer: trade in products, trade in knowledge, foreign direct investment, and intra-national and international movement of people. They develop a typology of country types and appropriate policy rules of thumb as a guide to both national policymakers and rule making in the World Trade Organization, as policies should differentiate between countries. The authors also develop some rules of thumb for policy intervention. These include: 1) Liberal trade policies for all types of countries; 2) Temporary encouragement of foreign direct investment inflows for low-income countries; 3) Licensing for technical transformation and adaptive investments by local firms to apply technologies; 4) Policy options for source economies to encourage international transfer of technology to poor countries, including fiscal incentives, improvement of flows of public-domain technologies with appropriate subsidies, and price differentiation for exports of intellectual property products.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3332.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3332
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Keller, Wolfgang, 1996. "Absorptive capacity: On the creation and acquisition of technology in development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 199-227, April.
  2. Peri, Giovanni, 2003. "Knowledge Flows, R&D Spillovers and Innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-40, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Borensztein, E. & De Gregorio, J. & Lee, J-W., 1998. "How does foreign direct investment affect economic growth?1," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 115-135, June.
  4. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
  5. Krishna, Pravin & Mitra, Devashish, 1998. "Trade liberalization, market discipline and productivity growth: new evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 447-462, August.
  6. Saggi, Kamal, 1996. "Entry into a Foreign Market: Foreign Direct Investment versus Licensing," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 99-104, February.
  7. David T. Coe & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "International R&D Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Gisselquist & John Nash & Carl Pray, 2002. "Deregulating the Transfer of Agricultural Technology: Lessons from Bangladesh, India, Turkey, and Zimbabwe," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 237-265, September.
  9. Blomstrom, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 1997. "How foreign investment affects host countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1745, The World Bank.
  10. Charles Sabel & Sanjay Reddy, 2007. "Learning to Learn: Undoing the Gordian Knot of Development Today," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 50(5), pages 73-92, October.
  11. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2003. "Economic development as self-discovery," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 603-633, December.
  12. McCalman, P., 1999. "Reaping What You Sow: An Empirical Analysis of International Patent Harmonization," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 1999-374, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  13. Wolfgang Keller, 2000. "Geographic Localization of International Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 7509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Aaditya Mattoo & Antonia Carzaniga, 2003. "Moving People to Deliver Services," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15088.
  15. Keith E. Maskus, 2000. "Intellectual Property Rights in the Global Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 99.
  16. David T. Coe & Elhanan Helpman & Alexander Hoffmaister, 1995. "North-South R&D Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 5048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1996. "Trade in ideas Patenting and productivity in the OECD," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 251-278, May.
  18. Saggi, Kamal, 2000. "Trade, foreign direct investment, and international technology transfer : a survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2349, The World Bank.
  19. Ari Kokko & Mario Zejan & Ruben Tansini, 2001. "Trade regimes and spillover effects of FDI: Evidence from Uruguay," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 124-149, March.
  20. Guifang Yang & Keith Maskus, 2001. "Intellectual property rights and licensing: An econometric investigation," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 58-79, March.
  21. Olarreaga, Marcelo & Schiff, Maurice & Wang, Yanling, 2003. "North-South and South-South Trade-Related Technology Diffusion: An Industry Level Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 3711, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1999. "International Technology Diffusion: Theory and Measurement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 537-70, August.
  23. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  24. Ignatius Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1987. "Licensing versus Direct Investment: A Model of Internalization by the Multinational Enterprise," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(3), pages 464-81, August.
  25. Ashish Arora & Andrea Fosfuri & Alfonso Gambardella, 2004. "Markets for Technology: The Economics of Innovation and Corporate Strategy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262511819, June.
  26. Maskus, Keith E. & Wilson, John S. & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2000. "Quantifying the impact of technical barriers to trade : a framework for analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2512, The World Bank.
  27. Rhee, Yung Whee, 1990. "The catalyst model of development: Lessons from Bangladesh's success with garment exports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 333-346, February.
  28. Theodore H. Moran, 2001. "Parental Supervision: The New Paradigm for Foreign Direct Investment and Development," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa64.
  29. Smith, Pamela J., 2001. "How do foreign patent rights affect U.S. exports, affiliate sales, and licenses?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 411-439, December.
  30. Marcus Noland & Howard Pack, 2003. "Industrial Policy in an Era of Globalization: Lessons from Asia," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 358.
  31. Mansfield, Edwin & Romeo, Anthony, 1980. "Technology Transfer to Overseas Subsidiaries by U.S.-Based Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 737-50, December.
  32. Evenson, Robert E. & Westphal, Larry E., 1995. "Technological change and technology strategy," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2209-2299 Elsevier.
  33. James R. Tybout, 2000. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 11-44, March.
  34. Dani Rodrik, 1993. "Taking Trade Policy Seriously: Export Subsidization as a Case Study in Policy Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 4567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Keith E. Maskus, 1993. "Intellectual property rights and the Uruguay Round," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 10-25.
  36. Ann E. Harrison & Brian J. Aitken, 1999. "Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 605-618, June.
  37. Theodore H. Moran, 1998. "Foreign Direct Investment and Development: The New Policy Agenda for Developing Countries and Economies in Transition," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 53.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3332. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.