The Role of Science and Multinationals
Edited by Grazia D. Santangelo
Chapter 10: Positive Forces and Vicious Mechanisms Behind Innovative Activity in a Lagging Region
10. Positive forces and vicious mechanisms behind innovative activity in a lagging region Rosalia Epifanio INTRODUCTION Innovation is today generally considered a fundamental component of the engine of growth. This is true for various economic scenarios. Therefore it is crucial to take account of the particular features that diﬀerent scenarios present. Literature on the economic growth of lagging regions is traditionally concerned with problems related to gaps. What is at issue are the ways in which such regions may ‘run after’ or even catch up with the more advanced economies. This is very often debated through the application of growth models built on successful experiences of development. On the other hand, approaches based on development theories refer mainly to third world realities and deal essentially with issues peculiar to the economic and social development of low-income countries. Finally, traditional literature on technological change generally analyses growth processes of advanced industrialized countries and aims at identifying general patterns and models that reﬂect the successful cases on which they are built. Even if these three research streams contribute to address some crucial issues, they do not seem to be fully suitable for analysing cases of lagging industrialized regions and their growth processes and potentials. To grasp the various aspects of innovation processes taking place in lagging regions, theoretical frameworks which examine the role of ‘context’ variables and of systemic processes have provided useful interpretative guidelines. In this chapter, therefore, the role of ‘context’ variables for innovative activity in a lagging...
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