The Technology & Policy Research Initiative (TPRI) supports independent inter-disciplinary research on the causes and consequences of technological change. TPRI also works with leaders from the business and policy communities to translate research results into fact-based innovation policies that promote equitable and sustainable long-term growth. Our Fellows come from Boston University, affiliates at Utrecht University, and the wider academic community in the US, Europe and Asia. TPRI is a joint initiative with faculty leadership from the Boston University School of Law and Boston University Questrom School of Business.
Our research is grouped into three wide-ranging areas:
- Innovation. What policy incentives encourage technological innovation, broad sharing of new knowledge, and widespread adoption of new technologies? What patent policies best encourage innovation and what policies, instead, create poorly defined property rights that generate excessive litigation, undermining innovation incentives?
- Workplace. Technology is transforming the workforce, but how? Is information technology creating persistent unemployment, as some claim, or does it, instead, create a “skills gap,” as others argue? What will be the impact of artificial intelligence technologies and robotics? The answers to such questions are important because they affect how new technology will be adopted and how the benefits of new technology will be shared.
- Dynamism. Technology benefits society when new knowledge is widely shared and can be put to new uses. This often happens when start-ups and spin-offs compete against established technologies and when employees change jobs. On the other hand, policies can be overly restrictive, hindering entry into new markets, new jobs, or new occupations. Research can evaluate the policy tradeoffs, explore what has led to declining economic dynamism and competition, and analyze the political economy of those changes.