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The curse of technological race: the red queen effect


  • 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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  • Leonardo Costa Ribeiro & Ricardo Machado Ruiz & Américo Tristão Bernardes & Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque, 2006. "The curse of technological race: the red queen effect," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG td288, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdp:texdis:td288

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    1. 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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    More about this item


    national systems of innovation; super-paramagnetic clustering technique; moving thresholds;

    JEL classification:

    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General

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