Knowledge-based economies and the institutional environment
Modern economies are increasingly based on knowledge and, more generally, on the intangible assets that favour the economic development. Knowledge-based economies are founded on increasing specialization, research, innovation and learning. The change towards a knowledge-based economy is happening on a global scale, a transformation is taking place in all advanced industrialised economies and many developing economies are also aspiring to reach this target. Knowledge-based economies require some critical requisites to become real and efficient economies. These are the four pillars: education and training, innovation, information infrastructure, the institutional regime. This contribution will focus mainly on one of those pillars: the institutional environment. Thus, after examining the definition and the characteristics of a knowledge-based economy, it focuses on the relationship between knowledge-based economies and the role of institutions. Institutions and the institutional environment play a key role in the development of a knowledge economy, so they do matter. The paper argues that various institutional changes must be introduced and these institutional changes that need to be made will involve the public and private sector, as it has been in the case of the Finland’s economy. In addition, because of the difficulties for the institutions to build and establish itself over time, it is necessary a certain degree of flexibility in the institutional regime and, hence, the ability to respond to uncertainties.
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