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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Post-2015 Consensus: Science and Technology Viewpoint, Montes

Viewpoint Paper

Montes raises some issues with regard to the challenge paper, in particular whether the scale of benefits for raising the level of R&D spending may have been underestimated since Maskus assumes the case of international politics as usual (IPAU). On the other hand, IPAU may in fact be violated for the innovation zone proposal. Escaping this paradigm is more difficult for mobility restrictions since in practice there are many low skill workers in developed countries (often illegally), but movement of skilled workers is severely restricted.

This raises the question of which of the many possible policies might be best to follow. In fact, one key policy alternative emerged from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Rio+20 summit: technology transfer for the purpose of sustainable development and climate change prevention. Since the initial Rio summit in 1992, international technology transfer has been privatized and IP protection enforced via TRIPS and international trade agreements. Although this could arguably be the smoothest and fastest way to transfer technology, some recent research points to this regime being an obstacle. Consideration of this will be important in the post-2015 development agenda.