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The curse of technological race: the red queen effect

Listed author(s):
  • Leonardo Costa Ribeiro


  • Ricardo Machado Ruiz


  • Américo Tristão Bernardes


  • Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque


Economic prosperity is tied to scientific development, i.e., there is a strong correlation between science, technology and the wealth of nations. We collected data from scientific and technological production of 183 countries of the last thirty years (1974 to 2003) and applied a super-paramagnetic clustering technique on them, finding nations divided in three regimes, distinguished by the interactions between the agents of their National Systems of Innovation (NSI). The identification of these groups allows us to define the dynamical behavior of the thresholds, that grow exponentially and whose growth rate we have calculated. We show that for the period 1974-2003 the threshold between the immature and the developed NSIs increases by an annual rate of 6.6% (per capita). We identify clearly a "Red Queen Effect". Finally we show that the transitions between the regimes are discontinuous, represented by a structural breakthrough. Therefore, the prerequisite to move from regime I to regime II, and then to regime III are structural changes within NSIs.

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Paper provided by Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in its series Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG with number td288.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Handle: RePEc:cdp:texdis:td288
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  1. Leonardo C. Ribeiro & Ricardo M. Ruiz & Eduardo M. Albuquerque & Américo T. Bernardes, 2006. "National Systems Of Innovation And Technological Differentiation: A Multi-Country Model," International Journal of Modern Physics C (IJMPC), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 17(02), pages 247-257.
  2. Bernardes, Americo Tristao & Albuquerque, Eduardo da Motta e, 2003. "Cross-over, thresholds, and interactions between science and technology: lessons for less-developed countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 865-885, May.
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