The role of intellectual property rights and absorptive capacity in international clean technology transfer : within the CDM and beyond
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This paper examines the effect of intellectual property rights and domestic absorptive capacity on clean technology transfer to developing countries, and analyzes how involvement in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) may alter the role played by these host country characteristics in encouraging technology transfer.; The transfer of climate change mitigation technologies has been identified as a key component of international efforts to combat climate change, and has been a central issue of importance in the negotiations to establish a potential successor to the Kyoto Protocol. However, disagreements between the developed and developing Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) over the role intellectual property rights (IPR) should play in promoting technology transfer have hindered progress in the negotiations. Albeit less contentious, the role of absorptive capacity in promoting technology flows to developing countries is an equally important aspect to examine. The recent Cancun Agreements coming out of the UNFCCC call for increased support for capacity building in developing countries while simultaneously announcing the establishment of a Technology Mechanism to accelerate technology transfer. Finally, this study undertakes an examination of how the CDM has contributed to technology transfer, and how its impact interacts with those of IPR and absorptive capacity. The results of this study are particularly pertinent to the current efforts of the UNFCCC, especially as the operational details of the Technology Mechanism have yet to be developed.; This study utilizes data on duplicate patent applications pertaining to wind power technologies as well as data obtained from CDM Project Design Documents. A panel dataset with 34 years coverage is constructed using the wind patent data, and is analyzed using a negative binomial model. The CDM project document data, on the other hand, is examined through cross-sectional analysis, using a probit model. The use of numerous methodologies allows for a robust comparison and comprehensive analysis of the results. The study concludes that IPR play a significant and positive role in attracting technology transfer outside of the CDM context, but cease to be a relevant factor in determining technology flows to countries hosting CDM projects. The results also demonstrate that absorptive capacity attracts inflows of technology, and that this relationship is affected, albeit somewhat ambiguously, by participation in the CDM. Lastly, the CDM is determined to have a significant impact on the roles of absorptive capacity and IPR in determining technology transfer.
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