Building National and Regional Innovation Systems

Building National and Regional Innovation Systems

Institutions for Economic Development

Jorge Niosi

Following the demise of the Washington Consensus, developing countries are looking for new ideas to guide their development. This innovative book suggests taking seriously some of the findings of evolutionary economics and paying specific attention to the institutions that matter for economic development, particularly those related to science, technology and innovation.

Preface

Jorge Niosi

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, evolutionary economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, innovation policy

Extract

This book was written out of my own discomfort about what is going on in developing countries. The 1990s were the period of the Washington consensus. All that developing countries had to do was to open their economies, adopt free trade, reduce the size of the state, and let the markets take care of their problems. We know now that this consensus was built on false premises. Latin America, Russia and other developing countries are heading leftward. Nationalizations are again on the rise in several countries, such as Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Russia and Venezuela. But the key issues, how to promote science, technology and innovation for development and catching up are not discussed, or if they are discussed they are not taken seriously. This is particularly worrisome because most resourcerich developing countries have experienced an affluent decade due to the high prices of oil, minerals and foodstuffs. It is also probable that the resource bonanza will come back in the near future. The question is: is it possible to draw most developing countries out of the vicious circle of poverty and inequality on the basis of industrial and technology policies? I am not advocating planned economies, but just the type of innovation policies and other institutions that Canada, Japan, the European Union, and the United States have implemented for decades, and South Korea, Singapore or Taiwan (province of China), and now mainland China, are so successfully applying. These policies, that include building human capital and related institutions for science, technology...