Table of Contents

Handbook of Innovation Systems and Developing Countries

Handbook of Innovation Systems and Developing Countries

Building Domestic Capabilities in a Global Setting

Elgar original reference

Edited by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, K. J. Joseph, Cristina Chaminade and Jan Vang

This Handbook is the first attempt to adapt the IS approach to developing countries from a theoretical and empirical viewpoint. The Handbook brings eminent scholars in economics, innovation and development studies together with promising young researchers to review the literature and push theoretical boundaries. They critically review the IS approach and its adequacy for developing countries, discuss the relationship between IS and development, and address the question of how it should be adapted to the realities of developing nations.

Chapter 8: The Global Dimension of Innovation Systems: Linking Innovation Systems and Global Value Chains

Carlo Pietrobelli and Roberta Rabellotti

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, innovation policy


Carlo Pietrobelli and Roberta Rabellotti 8.1 Introduction These days nobody would argue against the contention that learning and innovation are key determinants of competitiveness and growth of nations, regions and firms. Sometimes, more refined observers would stress that competitiveness is affected by firm-specific attitudes and actions together with the meso and macroeconomic contexts in which firms operate. In advanced countries, the concept of the National Innovation System (NIS), introduced by Freeman (1987), has accounted for the role played by the institutions (the rules of the game) and the organizations that systemically interact with and have an effect on the creation and diffusion of innovations in any national economic system. As has been discussed in the previous chapters of this volume, the most useful definition of innovation systems might not necessarily coincide with national borders, and therefore other concepts have been introduced, such as ‘technological systems’ (Carlsson and Stakiewicz, 1991), ‘regional innovation systems’ (Cooke, 1992) and ‘sectoral innovation systems’ (Breschi and Malerba, 1997). Moreover, in recent years it has increasingly been stressed that the innovation system approach needs to be enriched by the international dimension (Asheim and Herstad, 2005; Bunnell and Coe, 2001; Carlsson, 2006; Fromhold-Eisebith, 2007). The point made in these contributions is that the Innovation Systems (IS) literature has underemphasized the crucial impact of international information exchange and collaboration on the generation and diffusion of knowledge and innovation through different channels, as for example inter-firm, intra-firm and individual networks. In less developed countries (LDCs), the extra-national influences on the...

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