Dean Baker, Arjun Jayadev and Joseph Stiglitz | Full Paper (CC-BY)
Introduction: The twenty first century global economy will differ from that of the twentieth in at least two critical ways. First, the weight of the developing world in the global economy will be substantially higher. In particular, emerging economies such as China, Brazil, India and South Africa will have a more important role to play based on their pace of growth. Second, the ‘weightless economy‘ – the economy of ideas, knowledge and information – will become an increasingly important fraction of economic output and ever more important for economic growth and development, both in developed and developing economies.
These two facts alone would suggest that economic institutions and laws created in the twentieth century, to manage the growth of currently advanced industrialised economies, will be increasingly inadequate to govern global economic activity. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of intellectual property rights (IPRs).