Economics » Positive Externalities and Public Goods » How Governments Can Encourage Innovation

Key Concepts and Summary

Key Concepts and Summary

Public policy with regard to technology must often strike a balance. For example, patents provide an incentive for inventors, but they should be limited to genuinely new inventions and not extend forever.

Government has a variety of policy tools for increasing the rate of return for new technology and encouraging its development, including: direct government funding of R&D, tax incentives for R&D, protection of intellectual property, and forming cooperative relationships between universities and the private sector.

Glossary

intellectual property

the body of law including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secret law that protect the right of inventors to produce and sell their inventions

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