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Political decentralization and technological innovation: testing the innovative advantages of decentralized states

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  • Taylor, Mark Zachary

Abstract

Although never rigorously tested, it has become a sort of accepted wisdom amongst social scientists that government decentralization offers key advantages for innovators. Decentralized governments are widely seen as agile, competitive, and well structured to adapt to innovation’s gale of creative destruction. Meanwhile, centralized states, even when democratic, have come to be viewed as rigid and thus hostile to the risks, costs, and change associated with new technology; or are subject to capture by status-quo interest groups which use their influence to promote policies which ultimately restrict technological change. Therefore decentralized government is often perceived as a necessary institutional foundation for encouraging long-run technological innovation. In the following article, this wisdom is tested using data on international patent activity, scientific publications, and high-technology exports. The results suggest that the supposed technological advantages of decentralized states are a fiction, and that international pressures may be more important.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10996.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Publication status: Published in Review of Policy Research 24.3(2007): pp. 231-257
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10996

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Keywords: technology; innovation; decentralization; federalism; patents; technological; invention;

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Cited by:
  1. Maria João Camelo de Barros, 2011. "Decentralization of public policies for the promotion of firms’ internationalization. A proposal," Economics and Management Research Projects: An International Journal, Open Access International Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 66-78, December.
  2. Dina Balalaeva, 2012. "Innovations as Public Goods Provision with Negative Externalities: Role of Parliamentarism," HSE Working papers WP BRP 06/PS/2012, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  3. Libman, Alexander, 2009. "Models of market integration in Central Asia – comparative performance," MPRA Paper 17510, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Libman, Alexander, 2008. "Informal regionalism in Central Asia: subnational and international levels," MPRA Paper 26417, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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