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Towards a taxonomy of innovation systems

  • Manuel Mira Godinho
  • Sandro F. Mendonça
  • Tiago Santos Pereira

The concept of National Innovation System (NIS) has been recently applied in the context of developing nations even tough it was originally developed in relation to the more developed economies (Japan, Scandinavian countries, US etc.). This raises the methodological problem of knowing whether what was learnt in the study of more advanced NISs is relevant for all sorts of economies regardless the maturity of their actual innovation systems. With this question in mind an exploratory exercise is implemented. First a technique for mapping different NIS is put forward and next based on such mapping a taxonomy of NISs is proposed. The technique although simple in the steps it requires shows analytical potential. The cartography it generates allows one to compare directly different countries, by visualizing in bi-dimensional space the graphic pattern of the relevant dimensions of their respective NISs. This technique is applied to 69 countries (87.4% of the world population) and a set of 29 indicators is used to examine these NISs along eight major dimensions. With the resulting data, and with the help of cluster analysis, a taxonomy of innovation systems is proposed. That taxonomy which contains 6 major types of NISs indicates that what differentiates most the individual systems is their performance in three critical dimensions: innovation, diffusion and basic and applied knowledge. Country size and the natural resources endowment of the economies also emerge as important contingency factors underlying the overall dynamics of different NISs.

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File URL: http://pascal.iseg.utl.pt/~depeco/wp/wp132005.pdf
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Paper provided by ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon in its series Working Papers Department of Economics with number 2005/13.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp132005
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, Rua do Quelhas 6, 1200-781 LISBON, PORTUGAL
Web page: https://aquila1.iseg.ulisboa.pt/aquila/departamentos/EC

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  1. Gu, Shulin, 1997. "China's National Innovation System Approach to Participating in Information Technology: The Innovative Recombination of Technological Capability," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 01, United Nations University - INTECH.
  2. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, June.
  3. Bengt-Ake Lundvall, 2004. "Introduction to 'Technological infrastructure and international competitiveness' by Christopher Freeman," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 531-539, June.
  4. Patel, Pari, 1995. "Localised Production of Technology for Global Markets," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 141-53, February.
  5. Rinaldo Evangelista & Tore Sandven & Giorgio Sirilli & Keith Smith, 1998. "Measuring Innovation in European Industry," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 311-333.
  6. C. Freeman, 2004. "Technological infrastructure and international competitiveness," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 541-569, June.
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