What Does Politics Have to Do with Innovation? Economic Distribution and Innovation Policy in OECD Countries
Despite the fact that the distributional impact of innovation has been recognized in the social science literature, hardly any work has been done on the distributional politics of innovation policy. This study offers a first step in this direction as well as asking whether a government’s ideology affects innovation policy from a distributional viewpoint. The paper uses both qualitative case study method and a statistical analysis of government R&D outlays for social purposes in twenty-six countries. In terms of innovation policy, neo-corporatist interest group representation is linked to relatively equitable public R&D investment and left-oriented governments are more likely to invest in social innovation than their rightist counterparts. Nevertheless, governments rarely consider innovation policy in distributive terms. Despite the significant distributional implications of innovation, it remains depoliticized in policy making.
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