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Systems of Innovation and Underdevelopment: An Institutional Perspective

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  • Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji

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    (United Nations University, Institute for New Technologies)

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    Abstract

    This paper examines institutions and their role in supporting technical change as part of the development process, and asks how institutions shape the system of innovation (SI). The context of underdevelopment exhibits distinct system characteristics that differ markedly from those found under advanced economic conditions and as such deserves close empirical scrutiny. SIs differ significantly under the two sets of conditions, leading to uneven structural changes. The paper therefore explores what functions must be served by systems in developing countries in order to generate technical dynamism. To compare different contexts, it introduces the idea of a System of Learning Innovation in Development (SLID) that emphasizes individual and organizational competence building. The differences between “Advanced” Systems of Innovation (ASI) and two types of SLID are discussed. Infrastructure, one of the key components of institutions involved in development, is used as an illustration. The study found that dynamic SIs function best in a regime of high-quality infrastructure (telephone, Internet, computers and reliable electricity supplies). The case of sub-Saharan Africa serves to illustrate the point.

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    File URL: http://www.intech.unu.edu/publications/discussion-papers/2005-1.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by United Nations University - INTECH in its series UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series with number 01.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:unm:unuint:200501

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    Related research

    Keywords: Innovation; Innovation Policy; Capacity Building; Learning; Economic Development; Infrastructure; Sub-Saharan Africa;

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    1. Mikesell, Raymond F, 1997. "Explaining the resource curse, with special reference to mineral-exporting countries," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 191-199, December.
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    8. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-90, February.
    9. Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Stanley L. Engerman, 2000. "Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 217-232, Summer.
    10. Brautigam, Deborah, 1997. "Substituting for the state: Institutions and industrial development in eastern Nigeria," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1063-1080, July.
    11. Nelson, Richard R. & Sampat, Bhaven N., 2001. "Making sense of institutions as a factor shaping economic performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 31-54, January.
    12. Akyuz, Yilmaz & Gore, Charles, 2001. "African Economic Development in a Comparative Perspective," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 265-88, May.
    13. K Lal & Shampa Paul, 2004. "Digital Divide and International Orientation:Evidence From Asia-Pacific Countries," The IUP Journal of Applied Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(2), pages 31-41, March.
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