Knowledge as a Public Good and its Role in Development
Economic and social development depends on the capacity to generate, absorb and diffuse knowledge and technology. Knowledge and technology have the potential to provide benefits to large numbers of users, and the benefit received by any one u ser does not reduce the benefits received by others. Knowledge is often considered a public good, but it is more complex. Several important quali fications must be considered. These qualifications are crucial to the design of appropriate policies to inerease the rate of innovation and to guide its direction, at botli the national and the international levels. Knowledge is seldom a pure international public good. But it might move close to becoming one if attempts to augment it are coupled with appropriate policies in developed and developing coun- tries. Developed countries should show their willingness to enlarge the research agenda by taking into account the priorities of developing countries and opening the gates of their innovation system to newcomers. Developing countries, rather than expecting to be handed knowledge from developed countries, should support resources to inerease their absorptive capacity.(original abstract)
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