Knowledge in the Development of Economies

Knowledge in the Development of Economies

Institutional Choices Under Globalisation

New Perspectives on the Modern Corporation series

Edited by Silvia Sacchetti and Roger Sugden

This innovative book offers a critical perspective on the state of the current global economy, making sense of knowledge-related issues by critically assessing existing institutional choices, as well as pointing to new ways forward.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Silvia Sacchetti

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, institutional economics, regional economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Silvia Sacchetti For the purpose of economic science the process of cumulative change that is to be accounted for is the sequence of change in the methods of doing things, – the methods of dealing with the material means of life. Veblen ([1898] 1998, p. 410) 1. UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT, COMPETITIVENESSRELATED ‘HABITS OF THOUGHT’ AND ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS If we had to frame the context of this book, we could evoke concerns about economies, the loss of critical capacity within them and, more broadly with respect to society. The decay of critical thinking in society is, in a sense, the decline of democracy. What we mean is that if we do not exercise our critical thinking and we renounce imagining and possibly pursuing different ideas, different worlds, we lose our interest in participating in a process where objectives are already given. With these issues in mind, this book aims at providing a specific perspective on the role of knowledge for the analysis of economic development issues. In particular, we emphasise knowledge, creativity and critical thinking as forces in processes of change, including those transforming the rules governing economic systems. A treatment of the scope for change, in those terms, is rooted in a concern for economic governance and the enduring imbalances related to the economic system and its institutions. An earlier analysis of uneven development within the global economic system was provided by Hymer (1972), pointing to the world economy dominated by transnational corporations as a system based on inequality of income, status...