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Toward Technology-Sensitive Catching-Up Policies: Insights from Renewable Energy in China

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  • Binz, Christian
  • Gosens, Jorrit
  • Hansen, Teis
  • Hansen, Ulrich Elmer

Abstract

The voluminous literature on industrial catching-up in Southeast Asian countries has regularly argued that successful catching-up largely depended on a committed state, which orchestrated industry development with a relatively uniform set of policies, including R&D support, subsidies, trade restrictions, and local content requirements. In contrast, recent contributions from the technology lifecycle literature have argued that policies should be tailored to differing technological characteristics in industries for mass-produced standardized goods, complex engineered products, and—as we argue—complex product systems (CoPS). In this paper, we extend this argument by introducing a set of separate policy mixes for each industry type, which appears most capable of providing the key resources required for catching-up: knowledge, market access, financial investment and technology legitimacy. This framework is used to analyze catching-up patterns in China’s wind, solar PV, and biomass power plant industries, drawing mainly on policy documents and 106 interviews with key industry actors.

Suggested Citation

  • Binz, Christian & Gosens, Jorrit & Hansen, Teis & Hansen, Ulrich Elmer, 2017. "Toward Technology-Sensitive Catching-Up Policies: Insights from Renewable Energy in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 418-437.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:418-437
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.03.027
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