National Systems of Innovation: a bibliometric appraisal
The literature on NSI is a relatively new field of research with a quite impressive diffusion rate in the last 15 years. Although the concept of NSI is nowadays widely used both in academic and policy contexts, and a set of comprehensive theoretical surveys were published in the most recent years, no ‘quantitative’ survey exists on this matter. The present paper aims to fill this gap. We offer a complementary, ‘quantitative’, description of the state-of-the-art in the literature resorting to bibliometric methods. Our exercise shows that the time evolution of articles published was quite irregular, and that the NSI contributions have not converged to an integrated framework. We further evidence that historically detailed descriptions on NSI à la Freeman are rare, and analyses using more rigorous and diversified quantitative methodologies for assessing the performance of NSI are on demand. The huge increase in the share of ‘Conceptual/critical meta-literature on NSI’ in the latter (2001-2007) periods interestingly documents the conceptual dynamism and methodological-analytical challenges faced presently by NSI approach.
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