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The paradox of high R&D input and low innovation output: Sweden

Listed author(s):
  • Bitard, Pierre


    (LTH, Lund University)

  • Edquist, Charles


    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Hommen, Leif

    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Rickne, Annika


    (CIRCLE, Lund University and Dahmen institutet)

This chapter takes its point of departure in the so-called Swedish paradox, according to which the Swedish NSI is plagued by low pay-off in relation to very high investments in R&D and innovation efforts. Using new data, we show that this paradox is still in operation, i.e. the productivity or efficiency of the Swedish NSI remains low. We also specify the paradox in several respects. By focussing upon nine activities in the NSI, we attempt to explain why and how the paradox operates. The paradox is also related to the moderate growth of labour productivity in Sweden. Further, we show that the paradox is linked to globalization: internationalization of production by Swedish firms has proceeded further than the internationalization of R&D. On the basis of this analysis, we identify strengths and weaknesses of the Swedish NSI – many of which are related to the Swedish paradox. We take account of the history of innovation policy in Sweden and – on the basis of the analysis as a whole -- we identify future policy initiatives that might help to mitigate the Swedish paradox.

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Paper provided by Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy in its series Papers in Innovation Studies with number 2008/14.

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Length: 79 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2008
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2008_014
Contact details of provider: Postal:
CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Phone: +46 (0) 46 222 74 68
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