IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Government Policies and Sources of Latecomer Firms' Capability Building: A Learning Story from Brazil


  • Paulo Figueiredo


Although much has been written about the implications of the structural reforms of the 1990s for industrial progress in developing countries, especially in Latin America, less attention has been given to the role of meso and micro factors in sector and firm-level technological capability building. Most existing studies are based on aggregate analyses that argue either for or against such reforms. Seeking to offer an alternative perspective on this debate, this paper examines sources of firms' technological capability accumulation in the light of changes in government policies. It draws on first-hand empirical evidence from 75 organizations in Northern Brazil. The evidence suggests that policies and factors at the meso and micro level do matter in understanding the learning strategies underlying firms' capability-building processes. The latter do not take place in a vacuum or just on the back of sound, market-oriented macroeconomic policies. A combination of different kinds of government policies, foreign competition and firm-level learning efforts has been proving essential for firms to develop innovative capability. However, the move into more advanced capability levels in the sampled firms will not just involve a “discontinuity” in their existing learning strategies; it will also entail a redesign of the related government policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Paulo Figueiredo, 2008. "Government Policies and Sources of Latecomer Firms' Capability Building: A Learning Story from Brazil," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 59-88.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:36:y:2008:i:1:p:59-88
    DOI: 10.1080/13600810701848177

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paulo N. Figueiredo, 2001. "Technological Learning and Competitive Performance," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2373, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rasiah, Rajah & Shahrivar, Rafat Beigpoor & Yap, Xiao-Shan, 2016. "Institutional support, innovation capabilities and exports: Evidence from the semiconductor industry in Taiwan," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 69-75.
    2. Franco, Eliane & Ray, Sangeeta & Ray, Pradeep Kanta, 2011. "Patterns of Innovation Practices of Multinational-affiliates in Emerging Economies: Evidences from Brazil and India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1249-1260, July.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:36:y:2008:i:1:p:59-88. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.