Rethinking Policy in a Digital World

CIGI Policy Brief No. 143

November 5, 2018

The digital era, marked by a shift toward intangibles, requires a rethinking of government policy in the application of technological developments to real-world problems and the distribution of the economic gains of innovation. The intangibles economy, characterized by high upfront costs and very low reproduction costs, is driven by proprietary ideas, i.e., intellectual property, which is concentrated within a few countries and a small group of individuals and firms. This has implications for the conduct of government policy in many areas ranging from the support of innovation to macroeconomic and social policy. It will need to be creative, but should draw on the experience with technological change and economic growth throughout modern history.

About the Author

Rohinton P. Medhora is a CIGI distinguished fellow, professor of practice at McGill University, and an expert in international economic relations, innovation policy, development economics and governance.