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German technology policy, innovation, and national institutional frameworks

  • Soskice, David
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    The pattern of innovation in Germany is substantially different from that in the US and the UK. It is argued that German patterns of innovation - incremental innovation in high quality products especially in engineering and chemicals - require long-term capital, highly cooperative unions and powerful employer associations, effective vocational training systems and close long-term cooperation between companies and with research institutes and university departments. (The more radical high-technology innovation typical of the US and the UK benefits by contrast from less regulated market conditions.) These conditions are met by the incentives and constraints of the institutional framework in which companies located in Germany are embedded. It is suggested that German technology policy is appropriate to and important for this pattern of high-quality incremental innovation. Moreover, the institutional framework - especially the role of powerful business associations - can solve the collective action problems to which German-type technology policy would normally be exposed.

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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment with number FS I 96-319.

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    Date of creation: 1996
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbece:fsi96319
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    1. Catherine Matraves, 1997. "German Industrial Structure in Comparative Perspective (Only in German language!)," CIG Working Papers FS IV 97-10, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    2. Alexander, Ian & Mayer, Colin, 1990. "Banks and Securities Markets: Corporate Financing in Germany and the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 433, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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