An International Research Handbook
Edited by Ruud E. Smits, Stefan Kuhlmann and Phillip Shapira
Chapter 15: Innovation and Inequality
Susan E. Cozzens INTRODUCTION Global inequality is a changing phenomenon molded by a variety of interlocking dynamic forces. Technological change is one of these. If we picture the world system as a cross-tabulation of nation states and technological capabilities, we see a core of advanced and advancing nations, a small set of countries rapidly developing their capabilities, and a large number of countries struggling to maintain or build (Sagasti 2004). These groups correspond roughly to the economic hierarchy of nations, in which only four countries have moved into the top group in the last five decades: South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong (Milanovic 2(05). It is no accident that these four are also the models constantly offered for technology-based economic development. By focusing on economic development, innovation systems research has contributed to the debate on how to reduce inequality between nations. From its inception, national innovation systems analysis has probed the differences between affluent and aspiring nations (Nelson 1993). Recent volumes in this tradition have focused on developing world regions: Africa (Muchie, Gammeltoft et al. 2003), Latin America (Cassiolato, Lastres et al. 2003) and Asia (Lundvall & Intarakumnerd et al. 2006), and their ideas have been incorporated into strategy documents for the international community (juma, Yee-Cheong 2005). The innovation systems tradition has also paid significant attention to inequalities between sub-national regions, from old core high-technology regions through new ones to those that hope to be (Cook 2001). When inequalities are geographically based and can be addressed with concepts of...
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