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Upgrading Japan's Innovation System to Sustain Economic Growth

Author

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  • Randall S. Jones
  • Tadashi Yokoyama

Abstract

Increasing productivity growth through innovation is a key to raising living standards. Although R&D intensity in Japan is the third highest in the OECD area, the benefits do not appear to have been commensurate with the level of investment. The innovation system, which developed during the catchingup process, is largely input-driven and focused on incremental innovation based on closed and stable corporate and employment systems. However, this approach is less appropriate in the current global environment that favours risk-taking and a more open system relying on external linkages. To improve the innovation system, a broad-based strategy is needed, including a reform of framework conditions in the product and labour markets to strengthen competition and mobility, enhance international R&D links and improve the environment for venture business. Education and public research should be upgraded through stronger competition. The effectiveness of science and technology policy should be increased by strengthening its link to economic framework policies. This Working Paper relates to the 2006 OECD Economic Survey of Japan (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/japan). Améliorer le système d'innovation pour assurer une croissance économique durable Accroître la productivité grâce à l'innovation est l'un des principaux moyens d'élever le niveau de vie. Alors que le Japon se place au troisième rang des pays de l'OCDE pour ce qui est de l'intensité de R-D, les résultats obtenus ne paraissent pas à la hauteur des investissements. Le système d'innovation, qui s'est développé au cours du processus de rattrapage, est orienté dans une large mesure par l'investissement et met l'accent sur les innovations progressives fondées sur des structures d'entreprise et d'emploi fermées et stables. Or, cette approche est moins adaptée à l?environnement mondial actuel, qui favorise la prise de risque et des systèmes plus ouverts fondés sur des liens externes. Pour améliorer le système d'innovation, il importe de mettre en oeuvre une vaste stratégie consistant notamment à réformer les conditions cadres qui régissent les marchés de produits et du travail, afin de renforcer la concurrence et la mobilité, de favoriser les relations internationales en matière de R-D et d'améliorer l'environnement des entreprises innovantes. Il faudrait par ailleurs rendre l'éducation et la recherche publique plus performantes grâce à une concurrence plus intense. Il y aurait lieu également d'accroître l'efficacité de la politique scientifique et technologique en renforçant ses liens avec les politiques économiques générales. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique du Japon 2006 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/japon).

Suggested Citation

  • Randall S. Jones & Tadashi Yokoyama, 2006. "Upgrading Japan's Innovation System to Sustain Economic Growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 527, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:527-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/365562216004
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    Keywords

    brevets; concurrence sur les marchés; enseignement supérieur; entreprises à risque; ICT; innovation; innovation; intellectual property; Japan; Japon; patents; product market competition; propriété intellectuelle; R&D system; regulatory reforms; réforme réglementaire; science and technology; science et technologie; service sector; services; système de R-D; technological change; tertiary education; Third Basic Plan; TIC; Troisième Plan Cadre; venture capital;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O39 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Other
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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