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Ideas and innovation in East Asia

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  • Brahmbhatt, Milan
  • Hu, Albert

Abstract

The generation, diffusion, absorption and application of new technology, knowledge or ideas are crucial drivers of development. This paper surveys the diverse approaches to innovation adopted by East Asian economies, the problems faced and outcomes achieved, as well as possible policy lessons. Knowledge flows from advanced countries remain the primary source of new ideas in developing economies. The authors evaluate the role of three main channels for knowledge flows to East Asia - international trade, acquisition of disembodied knowledge and foreign direct investment. The paper then looks at the exceptionally fast growth in domestic innovation efforts in Korea, Taiwan (China), Singapore and China, drawing on information about R&D as well as original analysis of patent and patent citation data. Citation analysis shows that while East Asian innovations continue to draw heavily on knowledge flows from the US and Japan, citations to the same or to other East Asian economies are quickly rising, indicating the emergence of national and regional knowledge stocks as a foundation for innovation. A last section pulls together findings about policies and institutions to foster innovation, under three heads: the overall business environment for innovation (macroeconomic stability, financial development, openness, competition, intellectual property rights and the quality of communications infrastructure), human capital development, and government fiscal support for innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Brahmbhatt, Milan & Hu, Albert, 2007. "Ideas and innovation in East Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4403, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4403
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eduardo Correia de Souza & Jorge Chami Batista, 2008. "International Knowledge Mobility and Global Innovation," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200807152237460, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    2. Hu, Albert Guangzhou, 2009. "The Regionalization of Knowledge Flows in East Asia: Evidence from Patent Citations Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1465-1477, September.
    3. Itzhak Goldberg & Lee Branstetter & John Gabriel Goddard & Smita Kuriakose, 2008. "Globalization and Ttechnology Absorption in Europe and Central Asia : The Role of Trade, FDI, and Cross-Border Knowledge Flows," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6445, July.
    4. Itzhak Goldberg & John Gabriel Goddard & Smita Kuriakose & Jean-Louis Racine, 2011. "Igniting Innovation : Rethinking the Role of Government in Emerging Europe and Central Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2358, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    E-Business; Knowledge Economy; Economic Theory&Research; Technology Industry; Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems;

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