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

This paper summarises national and international policy options to encourage technology transfer. The authors, academics based at the University of Colorado, the World Bank and the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, argue that technology transfer can take place in a number of ways, including through trade in products, trade in knowledge, foreign direct investment, and the international migration of people.

The authors argue that countries at different stages of development will need to enact different kinds of policies. They also argue that international agreements, such as those of the World Trade Organization, should also take the differences among developing countries into consideration.  However, they find that, with the exception of the World Trade Organization, national policies are often more effective than international policies in helping to attract and regulate international technology transfer.