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Different paths to success—the growth of the electronics sector in Ireland and Israel

  • Stephen Roper
  • Amnon Frenkel

Both Ireland and Israel have, over the last three decades, established internationally competitive electronics industries. Israeli electronics has its origins in locally initiated R&D, is dominated by indigenously owned firms, and has its main export-market strengths in the research-intensive leading-edge markets for telecommunications and medical diagnostic equipment. In contrast, large-scale, US-owned plants producing computer equipment and components dominate the Irish electronics sector. The authors explore the factors that have contributed to these very different development paths. Social and political factors are examined, along with differences in technology and industrial policy, and the availability and cost of suitably skilled labour. The suggestion is that Ireland retains some cost advantages for large-scale manufacturing operations whereas Israel provides a more attractive location for research-intensive activities or niche manufacturing. The experience of the two nations suggests important policy lessons for Israel if it is to capture more of the value added generated by the products it develops and for Ireland if it is to move towards more research-intensive electronics activities.

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Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy.

Volume (Year): 18 (2000)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 651-665

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Handle: RePEc:pio:envirc:v:18:y:2000:i:6:p:651-665
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  1. McAleese, Dermot & McDonald, Donogh, 1978. "Employment Growth and the Development of Linkages in Foreign-Owned and Domestic Manufacturing Enterprises," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 40(4), pages 321-39, November.
  2. Holger Görg & Frances Ruane, 1998. "Linkages between Multinationals and Indigenous Firms: Evidence for the Electronics Sector in Ireland," Economics Technical Papers 9813, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  3. Frenkel, Amnon & Reiss, Thomas & Maital, Shlomo & Koschatzky, Knut & Grupp, Hariolf, 1994. "Technometric evaluation and technology policy: the case of biodiagnostic kits in Israel," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 281-292, May.
  4. Holger Görg & Frances Ruane, 1997. "Reflections on Irish Industrial Policy towards Foreign Direct Investment," Economics Policy Papers 973, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
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