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Knowledge Flows in National Systems of Innovation

A Comparative Analysis of Sociotechnical Constituencies in Europe and Latin America

Edited by Roberto López-Martínez and Andrea Piccaluga

The search for the key to economic growth has proved elusive and contentious. This book uses new empirical evidence to propose an integrated approach for achieving strong industrial and technological capabilities to form the basis for regional and national economic development.
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Chapter 3: Systems of innovation, knowledge and networks: Latin America and its capability to capture benefits

Mario Cimoli and Roberto Constantino


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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