Variation Across Sectoral Systems
Edited by Franco Malerba and Richard R. Nelson
7. Conclusions Franco Malerba and Richard R. Nelson A central reason for doing the studies reported in this book was the conviction that, while there are important factors and relationships that are common across economic sectors, the requirements and mechanisms for successful catch-up differ significantly across economic sectors, and the concept of a sectoral innovation system provides a useful framework for illuminating these differences. We think the studies reported here support all of these premises. In all of the cases of successful catch-up one can observe certain things, regardless of the sector. Yet there are also important differences across economic sectors in the institutions and mechanisms that are behind successful catch-up experiences, and the sectoral innovation system framework is quite useful in putting a spotlight on these. In this concluding chapter, we first highlight the common elements coming from each chapter (section 7.1) and then the differences across the sectors (section 7.2). Section 7.3 discusses the role of national factors and systems, and section 7.4 draws some final lessons. 7.1 COMMON ELEMENTS AFFECTING CATCH-UP IN ALL SECTORS We have stressed that a principal purpose of this book is to call attention to significant differences across economic sectors in the nature of the development processes involved. However, these differences must be viewed against a background of certain broad basic commonalities in successful catching up. In all of the cases of successful catch-up one can observe certain things, regardless of the sector. 7.1.1 Firms’ Learning The main factor behind catch-up is the...
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