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Empirical Evidence Against Varieties of Capitalism's Theory of Technological Innovation

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  • Taylor, Mark Zachary

Abstract

How can one explain cross-national differences in innovative activity across the industrialized democracies? In this article, I examine the varieties of capitalism (VOC) response to this question. VOC theory predicts that societies with liberal-market economies will direct their inventive activity toward radical technological change, while societies with coordinated-market economies will direct their inventive activity toward incremental technological change. I find that these predictions are not supported by the empirical data, and that the evidence offered by VOC proponents depends heavily on the inclusion of a major outlier, the United States, in the class of liberal-market economies. My empirical investigation includes simple patent counts, patents weighted by forward citations, and scholarly publications (both simple counts and citations-weighted). I analyze data covering all of the VOC countries over the course of several decades, little of which reveals the innovative patterns predicted by VOC scholars.For their excellent insights, critiques, and encouragement I gratefully thank Thomas Cusack, Tracy Gabridge, Michael Brewster Hawes, Derek Hill, Daniel K. Johnson, Chappel Lawson, Mark Lewis, Benedicta Marzinotto, Andrew Miller, Michael Piore, Jonathan Rodden, Herman Schwartz, James Snyder, David Soskice, Edward Steinfeld, Scott Stern, Dan Winship, the editors at International Organization, and two anonymous reviewers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal International Organization.

Volume (Year): 58 (2004)
Issue (Month): 03 (July)
Pages: 601-631

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Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:58:y:2004:i:03:p:601-631_58

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Cited by:
  1. Siri Terjesen & Jolanda Hessels, 2009. "Varieties of export-oriented entrepreneurship in Asia," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 537-561, September.
  2. Max-Peter Menzel & Johannes Kammer, 2012. "Industry Evolution in Varieties-of-Capitalism: a Survival Analysis on Wind Turbine Producers in Denmark and the USA," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1220, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Oct 2012.
  3. Gordon Redding & Michael Witt, 2009. "China’s business system and its future trajectory," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 381-399, September.
  4. Broberg, J. Christian & McKelvie, Alexander & Short, Jeremy C. & Ketchen, David J. & Wan, William P., 2013. "Political institutional structure influences on innovative activity," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(12), pages 2574-2580.
  5. Taylor, Mark Zachary & Wilson, Sean, 2012. "Does culture still matter?: The effects of individualism on national innovation rates," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 234-247.
  6. Mark Zachary Taylor, 2007. "Political Decentralization and Technological Innovation: Testing the Innovative Advantages of Decentralized States," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 24(3), pages 231-257, 05.
  7. DiVito, Lori, 2012. "Institutional entrepreneurship in constructing alternative paths: A comparison of biotech hybrids," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 884-896.
  8. Buchen, Clemens, 2010. "Emerging economic systems in Central and Eastern Europe – a qualitative and quantitative assessment," EconStor Theses, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 37141.
  9. Jackson, Gregory & Deeg, Richard, 2006. "How Many Varieties of Capitalism? Comparing the Comparative Institutional Analyses of Capitalist Diversity," MPIfG Discussion Paper 06/2, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  10. Akkermans, Dirk & Castaldi, Carolina & Los, Bart, 2009. "Do 'liberal market economies' really innovate more radically than 'coordinated market economies'?: Hall and Soskice reconsidered," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 181-191, February.
  11. Waguespack, David Matthew & Birnir, Johanna Kristin & Schroeder, Jeff, 2005. "Technological development and political stability: Patenting in Latin America and the Caribbean," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1570-1590, December.
  12. Ahlquist, John S. & Breunig, Christian, 2009. "Country clustering in comparative political economy," MPIfG Discussion Paper 09/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  13. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A & Verdier, Thierry, 2012. "Can't We All Be More Like Scandinavians? Asymmetric Growth and Institutions in an Interdependent World," CEPR Discussion Papers 9113, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Driver, Ciaran & Guedes, Maria João Coelho, 2012. "Research and development, cash flow, agency and governance: UK large companies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1565-1577.
  15. Streeck, Wolfgang, 2010. "E pluribus unum? Varieties and commonalities of capitalism," MPIfG Discussion Paper 10/12, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  16. Ron Boschma, 2014. "Towards an evolutionary perspective on regional resilience," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1409, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Mar 2014.
  17. Fred Block & Matthew R. Keller, 2011. "Where do Innovations Come From? Transformations in the U.S. Economy, 1970-2006," The Other Canon Foundation and Tallinn University of Technology Working Papers in Technology Governance and Economic Dynamics 35, TUT Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance.
  18. Edward Lorenz, 2011. "Do Labour Markets and Educational and Training Systems Matter for Innovation Outcomes? A multi-level analysis for the EU-27," Post-Print halshs-00726797, HAL.

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