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Political Decentralization and Technological Innovation: Testing the Innovative Advantages of Decentralized States

  • Mark Zachary Taylor

Are politically decentralized states better at fostering long-run technological innovation than centralized states? Societies with 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thus hostile to the risks, costs, and change associated with new technology, or prone to cling too long to foolhardy or outdated technological projects. Therefore government decentralization is often perceived as a necessary institutional foundation for encouraging long-run technological innovation. However, in this article, I analyze data on international patent activity, scientific publications, and high-technology exports, and show that there exists little evidence for an aggregate relationship between government structure and technological innovation. Copyright 2007 by The Policy Studies Organization.

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Article provided by Policy Studies Organization in its journal Review of Policy Research.

Volume (Year): 24 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (05)
Pages: 231-257

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revpol:v:24:y:2007:i:3:p:231-257
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