Uneven Paths of Development

Uneven Paths of Development

Innovation and Learning in Asia and Africa

Banji Oyelaren-Oyeyinka and Rajah Rasiah

This book focuses on what can be learned from the complex processes of industrial, technological and organizational change in the sectoral system of information hardware (IH). The IH innovation system is deliberately chosen to illustrate how sectors act as seeds of economic progress. Detailed firm-level studies were carried out in seven countries, three in Africa (Nigeria, Mauritius and South Africa) and four in Asia (China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia).

Chapter 9: Conclusions and Policy Implications

Banji Oyelaren-Oyeyinka and Rajah Rasiah

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


INTRODUCTION We start this concluding chapter by recalling our central proposition that the diverse set of polities that define learning and innovation in particular industries in individual countries follow imperfect and uneven paths of industrial and technological evolution. Variations in initial conditions and policy support have largely differentiated these countries. The systemic quad with its four pillars was used as a heuristic model to locate the drivers of learning, innovation and competitiveness. The model emphasized the need for the simultaneous evolution of the four pillars. The chapters assessed the information technology industry to capture the evolutionary elements of learning and innovation. The presence of these learning factors is indicative of the base conditions in building a dynamic system of innovation. However, in order to understand how the different countries’ experiences help explain the importance of institutions and institutional change we reiterate once more the critical drivers that are important in driving learning, innovation and competitiveness. 9.2 EXPLAINING UNEVEN OUTCOMES While the systemic quad offered a simple and concise way to approach development policy, we emphasize the fact that the policy instruments that are necessary to drive the four pillars are rooted in different institutional regimes. In order to understand the process of uneven development shaping the sectoral innovation system within a given historical context but using the capability framework, we suggest a typology of sectoral systems that emerged out of the different country case studies. While initial conditions and the accumulation of sectoral knowledge...

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