Of Terminator Genes and Developing Countries: What are the Impacts of Appropriation Technologies on Technological Diffusion?
This paper examines the potential impacts of genetic use restriction technologies (GURTs) on various developing countries. The impact on any given country will depend on its existing biotechnology capability, the potential for developing biotechnology capability and the country’s suitability for growing GURT target crops (i.e., nonhybridized species). For a large group of countries, the outcome will depend on how GURTs influence the diffusion of innovations from developed to developing countries. This is necessarily an empirical question, as GURTs will affect both the general rate of innovation and the rate of diffusion between countries. A case study of hybrid maize indicates that hybridization as a use restriction technology has slowed the overall diffusion rate of innovations to many developing countries. When GURTs are introduced it will be important to increase public research spending and to restrict other plant-related intellectual property rights so that the diffusion of innovations can continue.
KeywordsPublic Sector Foreign Direct Investment Plant Variety Hybrid Maize Innovation Diffusion
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