Critical Success Factors for a Knowledge-Based Economy: An Empirical Study into Background Factors of Economic Dynamism
The past decade has shown a rising popularity of the notion of the knowledge-based economy. In Europe this has led to important political paradigms such as the Lisbon Accord and the Barcelona targets, which have become signposts for R&D policy in the EU. The relationship between knowledge and economic growth is often studied in a conceptual and empirical context by addressing correlations between these factors (on the basis of e.g. the new growth theory and endogenous growth theory). This paper takes a complementary, more exploratory route. Starting from the notions of modern knowledge and growth theory, it examines views and attitudes of experts and industrial, R&D or research leaders to identify the critical success factors that are decisive for economic dynamism of a region or country. Knowledge is conceived of as a social capital asset that may reduce or maintain accelerated economic growth. In our study, a sample of 'knowledge experts' is used to identify the relative importance attached by these experts to the various factors that shape the force field of a knowledge-based economy. The results are analyzed using statistical regression methods and common factor analysis. The study is carried out for different types of regions/ countries in the world (the Netherlands, developed regions, developing regions, and semi-developed regions).
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