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Global Value Chains and Technological Capabilities: A Framework to Study Industrial Innovation in Developing Countries

  • Andrea Morrison

    (Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy and CESPRI, Università Bocconi, Italy.)

  • Carlo Pietrobelli

    (CREI, Università di Roma 3, Italy.)

  • Roberta Rabellotti

    (Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy.)

This paper presents a critical review of the Global Value Chain literature in light of the “Technological Capabilities” approach to innovation in LDCs. Participation in GVC is beneficial for firms in LDCs, which are bound to source technology internationally. However, the issues of learning and technological efforts at the firm-level remain largely uncovered by the GVC literature. We propose a shift in the empirical and theoretical agenda, arguing that research should focus on the endogenous process of technological capability development, on the specific firm-level efforts and on the mechanisms allowing knowledge to flow within and between different global value chains.

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Paper provided by KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series KITeS Working Papers with number 192.

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Length: pages 27
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision: Dec 2006
Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:wp192
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  1. Paolo Guerrieri & Simona Iammarino & Carlo Pietrobelli (ed.), 2001. "The Global Challenge to Industrial Districts," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2422, March.
  2. Meyer-Stamer, Jorg, 1998. "Path dependence in regional development: Persistence and change in three industrial clusters in Santa Catarina, Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 1495-1511, August.
  3. Giuliani, Elisa & Pietrobelli, Carlo & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2005. "Upgrading in Global Value Chains: Lessons from Latin American Clusters," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 549-573, April.
  4. Marjolein C. J. Caniels & Henny A. Romijn, 2003. "Firm-level knowledge accumulation and regional dynamics," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(6), pages 1253-1278, December.
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  6. H. Schmitz & P. Knorringa, 2000. "Learning from Global Buyers," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 177-205.
  7. Carlo Pietrobelli & Federica Saliola, 2007. "Power Relationships along the Value Chain: Multinational Firms, Global Buyers, and Local Suppliers' Performance," Working Papers 0702, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised Jan 2007.
  8. Ricardo Hausmann & Dani Rodrik, 2002. "Economic Development as Self-Discovery," NBER Working Papers 8952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2000. "Knowledge Spillovers And Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," ERSA conference papers ersa00p362, European Regional Science Association.
  10. John Humphrey & Hubert Schmitz, 2002. "How does insertion in global value chains affect upgrading in industrial clusters?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(9), pages 1017-1027.
  11. R. Kaplinsky, 2000. "Globalisation and Unequalisation: What Can Be Learned from Value Chain Analysis?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 117-146.
  12. Lall, Sanjaya, 1992. "Technological capabilities and industrialization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 165-186, February.
  13. Gibbon, Peter, 2003. "The African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Global Commodity Chain for Clothing," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 1809-1827, November.
  14. Figueiredo, Paulo N., 2002. "Does technological learning pay off? Inter-firm differences in technological capability-accumulation paths and operational performance improvement," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 73-94, January.
  15. Palpacuer, Florence & Gibbon, Peter & Thomsen, Lotte, 2005. "New Challenges for Developing Country Suppliers in Global Clothing Chains: A Comparative European Perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 409-430, March.
  16. Elisa Giuliani & Martin Bell, 2004. "When Micro Shapes the Meso: Learning Networks in a Chilean Wine Cluster," SPRU Working Paper Series 115, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  17. Breschi, Stefano & Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 2000. "Technological Regimes and Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 388-410, April.
  18. Dahlman, Carl J. & Ross-Larson, Bruce & Westphal, Larry E., 1987. "Managing technological development: Lessons from the newly industrializing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 759-775, June.
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