The Regional Impact of National Policies
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The Regional Impact of National Policies

The Case of Brazil

Edited by Werner Baer

Brazil is a country of continental proportions whose gross domestic product is unevenly distributed among its various regions. The impact of general domestic economic policies has often been perceived as not being regionally neutral, but as reinforcing the geographic concentration of economic activities. This detailed book examines the regional impact of such general policies as: industrialization, agricultural modernization, privatization, stabilization, science and technology, labor, and foreign direct investment.
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Chapter 7: Science, Technology and Innovation Policies in the Regional Development of Brazil

Luiz Ricardo Cavalcante and Simone Uderman

Extract

7. Science, technology and innovation policies in the regional development of Brazil Luiz Ricardo Cavalcante and Simone Uderman 7.1 INTRODUCTION Innovation is central to economic development, especially to the growth of output and productivity. The central role played by innovation in the progress of capitalism has been emphasized by authors like Schumpeter, who argued that: “the fundamental impulse that sets and keeps the capitalist engine in motion comes from the new consumers’ goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization that the capitalist enterprise creates” (Schumpeter, 1950 [1942], p. 83). Based upon this perception, several countries have been adopting science, technology and innovation (ST&I) public policies. These countries have been focusing on building ST&I policymaking capabilities, strengthening technological institutions, funding innovative projects, and forging ties between industry and the academic community. In Brazil, ST&I policies have been increasingly considered by the federal government when adopting industrial policies. Indeed, the main industrial policies implemented in Brazil during the 2000s – the Industrial, Technological and Foreign Trade Policy (PITCE) and the Productive Development Policy (PDP) – strongly emphasized the role of innovation in economic development. These policies are concerned with promoting structural changes in the Brazilian economy, and are only marginally directed to regional development issues. On the other hand, regional development policies seem not to emphasize innovation as a way of reducing the high levels of inequalities that have historically marked Brazilian regions. The National Policy for Regional Development is essentially...

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