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When a good science base is not enough to create competitive industries: Lockin and inertia in Russian systems of innovation

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  • Irina Jormanainen

    (Department of International Business, Helsinki School of Economics.)

  • Rajneesh Narula

    ()
    (School of Management, University of Reading)

Abstract

Despite a well-developed science and technology base and considerable industrial capacity during the soviet era, Russia has largely failed to create a competitive industrial sector despite two decades of transition. This paper seeks to understand why Russia has not succeeded despite having relatively favourable initial conditions. We develop an understanding of its innovation system and the interplay between the firm and the nonfirm sector. We argue that – in any economy - when political and economic regimes were rapidly reformed, there is considerable structural inertia associated with complex interdependencies between the state, domestic firms and the formal and informal institutions that bind them together. In the case of Russia, this inertia has resulted in a system-wide lock-in, and industrial enterprises continued to engage in routines that generated a suboptimal outcome. Market forces did not result in the western-style innovation system, but a hybrid one, with numerous features of the soviet system. A significant segment of industry maintains a Soviet-style dependence on ‘top-down’ supply-driven allocation of resources and a reliance on external (but domestic) network of sources for innovation and capital. At the same time, ‘new’ firms and industries have also evolved which undertake their own R&D, and utilise foreign sources of capital and technology, and at least partly determine their production and innovative activities on the basis on market forces.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Henley Business School, Reading University in its series Economics & Management Discussion Papers with number em-dp2008-70.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 22 Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2008-70

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Keywords: innovation systems; R&D; Russia; inertia; institutions; lock-in; transition; competitiveness;

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  1. Djankov, Simeon & Hoekman, Bernard, 1999. "Foreign investment and productivity growth in Czech enterprises," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2115, The World Bank.
  2. Ann E. Harrison & Brian J. Aitken, 1999. "Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 605-618, June.
  3. Damijan, Joze P. & Knell, Mark & Majcen, Boris & Rojec, Matija, 2003. "The role of FDI, R&D accumulation and trade in transferring technology to transition countries: evidence from firm panel data for eight transition countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 189-204, June.
  4. Peter J Buckley & Jeremy Clegg & Chengqi Wang, 2002. "The Impact of Inward FDI on the Performance of Chinese Manufacturing Firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 33(4), pages 637-655, December.
  5. Elizabeth Asiedu, 2006. "Foreign Direct Investment in Africa: The Role of Natural Resources, Market Size, Government Policy, Institutions and Political Instability," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 63-77, 01.
  6. Dewatripont, M & Roland, G, 1992. "Economic Reform and Dynamic Political Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 703-30, October.
  7. Narula,Rajneesh & Criscuolo,Paola, 2002. "A novel approach to national technological accumulation and absorptive capacity: Aggregating Cohen and Levinthal," Research Memorandum 018, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  8. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
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