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Innovation in Asian Industrialization: A Gerschenkronian Perspective

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  • Mike Hobday
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    Abstract

    This paper interprets the experience of the East and South East Asian electronics industry from a "Gerschenkronian" perspective in order to draw lessons for other developing countries. Following Gerschenkron, the paper argues that it is diversity, rather than unifor mity, in the institutional, technological and development policy arenas (called here "strategic innovation") that characterizes the experience of the Asian newly industrializing economies (NIEs). The experience of the leading export industry shows that the progress of the NIEs can be interpreted as a pattern of substitution of missing prerequisites, in line with Gerschenkron's view of European latecomer industrialization. More broadly, the progress of the NIEs should not be viewed as repetitions of earlier industrialization experiences as they involve significant deviations from the latter, usually entailing distinctive strategic innovations. This interpret ation presents a difficult challenge for those wishing to draw lessons from the Asian NIEs. There are few direct lessons from East and South East Asia for other countries and certainly no transferable or standardized "model" of development. Other paths and patterns of develop ment need to be identified and created that build upon the distinctive resources of individual developing countries. Strategic innovation, trial-and-error learning and variety are likely to continue to characterize successful industrial development in the future.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 293-314

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:31:y:2003:i:3:p:293-314

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    Cited by:
    1. Martin Srholec, 2005. "High-tech exports from developing countries: A symptom of technology spurts or statistical illusion?," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20051215, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    2. Cusmano, Lucia & Morrison, Andrea & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2010. "Catching up Trajectories in the Wine Sector: A Comparative Study of Chile, Italy, and South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 1588-1602, November.
    3. Jakob Madsen & Rabiul Islam & James Ang, 2009. "Catching up to the Technology Frontier: The Dichotomy Between Innovation and Imitation," CAMA Working Papers 2009-26, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    4. Zhou, Yu, 2008. "Synchronizing Export Orientation with Import Substitution: Creating Competitive Indigenous High-Tech Companies in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2353-2370, November.
    5. Iizuka, Michiko & Soete, Luc, 2011. "Catching up in the 21st century: Globalization, knowledge & capabilities in Latin America, a case for natural resource based activities," MERIT Working Papers 071, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Azomahou, Theophile & Diene, Bity & Diene, Mbaye, 2012. "Nonlinearities in productivity growth: A semi-parametric panel analysis," MERIT Working Papers 046, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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