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The Theoretical Basis and the Empirical Treatment of National Innovation Systems



This paper deals with theoretical as well as empirical issues in research on national innovation systems (NIS). The aims of this paper are the following: first, some basic concepts of the NIS approach as they are used here are defined and explained. This seems to be necessary for reasons of clarity, since different authors in this field still make use of different concepts. Second, and based on this theoretical introduction, the empirical treatment of national innovation systems is discussed while recent trends in the NIS literature on performance measurement of innovation systems are summarized. Third, details of a research agenda with the goal to improve performance measurements of national innovation systems are given whilst potential pitfalls of benchmarking exercises in the context of national innovation systems are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Balzat, 2002. "The Theoretical Basis and the Empirical Treatment of National Innovation Systems," Discussion Paper Series 232, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:aug:augsbe:0232

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Malerba, Franco, 2002. "Sectoral systems of innovation and production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 247-264, February.
    2. Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    3. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    4. Carlsson, Bo & Jacobsson, Staffan & Holmen, Magnus & Rickne, Annika, 2002. "Innovation systems: analytical and methodological issues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 233-245, February.
    5. Cooke, Philip & Gomez Uranga, Mikel & Etxebarria, Goio, 1997. "Regional innovation systems: Institutional and organisational dimensions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 475-491, December.
    6. Kuhlmann, Stefan, 2001. "Future governance of innovation policy in Europe -- three scenarios," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 953-976, June.
    7. Niosi, Jorge, 2002. "National systems of innovations are "x-efficient" (and x-effective): Why some are slow learners," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 291-302, February.
    8. Liu, Xielin & White, Steven, 2001. "Comparing innovation systems: a framework and application to China's transitional context," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1091-1114, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lööf, Hans & Savin, Maxim, 2012. "Cross-country difference in R&D productivity Comparison of 11 European economies," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 294, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, revised 13 Mar 2013.
    2. Markus Balzat, 2003. "Benchmarking in the Context of National Innovation Systems: Purpose and Pitfalls," Discussion Paper Series 238, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    3. Soete, Birgit, 2006. "Biotechnologie im Vergleich - Wo steht Deutschland? Eine Untersuchung nationaler Innovationssysteme," Study / edition der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf, volume 127, number 165.

    More about this item


    innovation; national innovation systems; performance measurement;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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