Technological Transformation, Intellectual Property Rights and Second Best Theory

24 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2008  

Richard G. Lipsey

Simon Fraser University


Over the last decade, the research interests of myself and my co-authors have concerned economic growth, technological change and general purpose technologies - pervasive technologies that transform our whole society. Our many publications culminated in Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long Term Economic Growth by Richard Lipsey, Kenneth Carlaw and Cliff Bekar (hereafter LCB). This work has only incidentally raised issues concerning intellectual property rights (IRPs). So what I will cover in this paper is first a brief survey of some of the historical parts of LCB. Then, I give some general discussion of economic policy with emphasis on second best issues and, finally, some of the IPR issues that arose incidentally in our work.

Keywords: Technological Transformation, Intellectual Property Rights, Second Best Theory

Suggested Citation

Lipsey, Richard G., Technological Transformation, Intellectual Property Rights and Second Best Theory. Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 5-28, 2007. Available at SSRN:

Richard G. Lipsey (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6

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