A Comparative Analysis of Sociotechnical Constituencies in Europe and Latin America
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Roberto López-Martínez and Andrea Piccaluga
Chapter 3: Systems of innovation, knowledge and networks: Latin America and its capability to capture benefits
3. Systems of innovation, knowledge and networks: Latin America and its capability to capture beneﬁts Mario Cimoli and Roberto Constantino 3.1 INTRODUCTION On the basis of development economics theory, it is a well known fact that trade and the internationalization of production are not necessarily neutral to the growth path of different countries. Thus, some countries have followed a road characterized by increasing gaps or immiserizing growth. Trade liberalization and foreign investment ﬂows are not the only elements that help to invoke a prosperous development path. Firm and sectoral learning patterns and overall national capabilities are dynamically coupled via input–output ﬂows, knowledge spillovers, backward and forward linkages, complementarities and context-speciﬁc externalities. Together, they contribute to shaping the organizational and technological context within which each economic activity takes place. In a sense, they set the opportunities and constraints facing each individual process of production and innovation, including the availability of complementary skills, information on intermediate inputs and capital goods, and demand stimuli to improve particular products. This links straightforwardly with the analyses focusing on structural change and development (here, within a vast literature, contributions that come immediately to mind range from Hirschman to Rosenstein Rodan, Gerschenkron, Chenery and Sirquin, among others). A traditional statement of that rationale is as follows: One suggestion along this line was that development is accelerated through investment in projects and industries with strong forward or backward linkages effects. I argued that entrepreneurial decision making in both the private and public sectors is not...
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