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Upgrading Japan's Innovation System to Sustain Economic Growth

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  • Randall S. Jones
  • Tadashi Yokoyama
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    Abstract

    Increasing productivity growth through innovation is a key to raising living standards. Although R&D intensity in Japan is the third highest in the OECD area, the benefits do not appear to have been commensurate with the level of investment. The innovation system, which developed during the catchingup process, is largely input-driven and focused on incremental innovation based on closed and stable corporate and employment systems. However, this approach is less appropriate in the current global environment that favours risk-taking and a more open system relying on external linkages. To improve the innovation system, a broad-based strategy is needed, including a reform of framework conditions in the product and labour markets to strengthen competition and mobility, enhance international R&D links and improve the environment for venture business. Education and public research should be upgraded through stronger competition. The effectiveness of science and technology policy should be increased by strengthening its link to economic framework policies. This Working Paper relates to the 2006 OECD Economic Survey of Japan (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/japan). Améliorer le système d'innovation pour assurer une croissance économique durable Accroître la productivité grâce à l'innovation est l'un des principaux moyens d'élever le niveau de vie. Alors que le Japon se place au troisième rang des pays de l'OCDE pour ce qui est de l'intensité de R-D, les résultats obtenus ne paraissent pas à la hauteur des investissements. Le système d'innovation, qui s'est développé au cours du processus de rattrapage, est orienté dans une large mesure par l'investissement et met l'accent sur les innovations progressives fondées sur des structures d'entreprise et d'emploi fermées et stables. Or, cette approche est moins adaptée à l?environnement mondial actuel, qui favorise la prise de risque et des systèmes plus ouverts fondés sur des liens externes. Pour améliorer le système d'innovation, il importe de mettre en oeuvre une vaste stratégie consistant notamment à réformer les conditions cadres qui régissent les marchés de produits et du travail, afin de renforcer la concurrence et la mobilité, de favoriser les relations internationales en matière de R-D et d'améliorer l'environnement des entreprises innovantes. Il faudrait par ailleurs rendre l'éducation et la recherche publique plus performantes grâce à une concurrence plus intense. Il y aurait lieu également d'accroître l'efficacité de la politique scientifique et technologique en renforçant ses liens avec les politiques économiques générales. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique du Japon 2006 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/japon).

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/365562216004
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 527.

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    Date of creation: 29 Nov 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:527-en

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    Related research

    Keywords: venture capital; Japan; product market competition; ICT; tertiary education; patents; technological change; regulatory reforms; innovation; science and technology; intellectual property; R&D system; Third Basic Plan; service sector; système de R-D; Troisième Plan Cadre; réforme réglementaire; enseignement supérieur; propriété intellectuelle; innovation; concurrence sur les marchés; science et technologie; entreprises à risque; brevets; TIC; Japon; services;

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