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The Swedish Paradox

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Author Info

  • Ejermo, Olof

    ()
    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Kander, Astrid

    ()
    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

Abstract

This paper sums up the debate about the Swedish ‘paradox’ and provides new evidence. The paradox thought has emerged in different versions, which share the common basics that Swedish R&D expenditures are high, but do not produce sufficient economic results. This empirical paradox is part of a more general debate concerning relations between R&D and growth. We show that the theoretical underpinnings of the paradox are rather weak. There is a long chain of different gears between R&D, high-tech and growth, which should lead to expectations of high variation among countries. Previous evidence suggests that Sweden appears to have problems in two of these gears, the entrepreneurial climate and innovation to high-tech production. We support this conclusion on new empirical results. First, we show that the high persistence in concentration of R&D to a few multinationals remains, which in itself is an indication of weak entrepreneurship. Second, Sweden is still behind the OECD in high-tech and medium-high-tech exports, given her R&D intensity, although she is catching up. Moreover, employment figures in the high-tech sectors point to a more favorable development. Academia has been suggested to be another weak component for interaction with business, but the empirical evidence is here scant and less transparent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy in its series CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers with number 2006/1.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2006_001

Contact details of provider:
Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46 (0) 46 222 74 68
Web page: http://www.circle.lu.se/
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Related research

Keywords: Sweden; paradox; R&D; growth; entrepreneurship.;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andreas P. Cornett & Nils Karl Soerensen, 2011. "The Emergence of New Regional Convergence Clubs in a Nordic and Baltic Perspective," ERSA conference papers ersa10p628, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Joern Block & Roy Thurik & Haibo Zhou, 2013. "What turns knowledge into innovative products? The role of entrepreneurship and knowledge spillovers," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 693-718, September.
  3. Chaminade, Cristina & Edquist, Charles, 2006. "Rationales for public policy intervention from a systems of innovation approach: the case of VINNOVA," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2006/4, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  4. Ejermo, Olof, 2006. "Inventive and innovative activity over time and geographical space: the case of Sweden," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2006/14, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  5. Schön, Lennart & Kander, Astrid, 2007. "Industrial dynamics and innovative pressure on energy - Sweden with European and Global outlooks," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2007/5, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  6. Giuliani, Elisa, 2006. "The uneven and selective nature of cluster knowledge networks: evidence from the wine industry," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2006/11, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  7. Pontus Braunerhjelm, 2007. "Academic entrepreneurship: Social norms, university culture and policies," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(9), pages 619-631, November.
  8. Aalbers, Rick & Koppius, Otto & Dolfsma, Wilfred, 2006. "On and Off the Beaten Path: Transferring Knowledge through Formal and Informal Networks," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2006/8, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  9. Politis, Diamanto & Gabrielsson, Jonas, 2006. "Informal investors and value added: The contribution of investors’ experientially acquired resources in the entrepreneurial process," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2006/12, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  10. Olof Ejermo, 2011. "Locked into the ivory tower? Mobility and entrepreneurship among Swedish academics," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1413, European Regional Science Association.
  11. Ejermo, Olof & Kander, Astrid, 2008. "The Swedish Paradox arises in Fast-Growing Sectors," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2008/7, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  12. Gabrielsson, Jonas & Landström, Hans & E. Thomas, Brunsnes, 2006. "A Knowledge-based Categorization of Research-based Spin-off Creation," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2006/6, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  13. Ejermo, Olof & Kander, Astrid, 2006. "Trends in R&D, innovation and productivity in Sweden 1985-2002," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2006/9, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  14. D.B. Audretsch & A.R. Thurik, 2010. "Unraveling the Shift to the Entrepreneurial Economy," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-080/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 02 Apr 2011.
  15. Argentino Pessoa, 2007. "Innovation and Economic Growth: What is the actual importance of R&D?," FEP Working Papers 254, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

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