The Challenges of Technology and Economic Catch-up in Emerging Economies

ISBN : 9780192896049

Jeong-Dong Lee; Keun Lee; Dirk Meissner; Slavo Radosevic; Nicholas Vonortas
496 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jun 2021
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Innovation is a pivotal driving force behind economic growth. Technological capability deepens and diversifies industrial activity, which fundamentally enhances growth potential. Consequently, failure to build effective technological capability can lead to slow long-term economic growth. This book synthesizes and interprets existing knowledge on technology upgrading failures in order to better understand the challenges of technology upgrading in emerging economies. The objective is to bring together diverse evidence on three major dimensions of technology upgrading: paths of technology upgrading, structural changes in the nature of technology upgrading, and the issues of technology transfer and technology upgrading. Knowledge on these three dimensions is synthesized at the firm, sector, and macro levels across different countries and world macroregions. Compared to the challenges and uncertainties facing emerging economies, our understanding of technology upgrading is sparse, unsystematic, and scattered. The recent growth slowdown in many emerging economies, often known as the middle-income trap, has reinforced the importance of understanding the technology upgrading challenges they experience. While our understanding of these issues from the 1980s and 1990s is relatively more systematised, the more recent changes that took place during the globalization and proliferation of global value chains, and the effects of the 2008 financial crisis, have not been explored and compared synthetically. The current effects of COVID-19, geopolitical struggles, and the growing concern around environmental sustainability add significant complexity to an already problematic situation. The time is ripe to take stock of our existing knowledge on processes of technology upgrading in emerging economies and make further inroads in research on this crucial issue.


1 Jeong-Dong Lee, Keun Lee, Dirk Meisner, Slavo Radosevic, and Nicholas Vonortas: Technology Upgrading and Economic Catch-Up: Context, Overview, and Conclusions
Section I - Technology Capability and Growth Performance at the Country Level
2 Jan Fagerberg and Martin Srholec: Capabilities, Competitiveness, Nations
3 Kirill Osaulenko and Slavo Radosevic: Technology Upgrading in Emerging Economies: A New Approach to its Measurement, Results, and Relationship to Mainstream Measures
4 Jeong-Dong Lee, Chulwoo Baek, and Jung-In Yeon: Middle Innovation Trap: Capability Transition Failure and Stalled Economic Growth
5 Keun Lee: Economics of Technological Leapfrogging
6 Vitaliy Roud: Innovation Surveys as Evidence of Technological Upgrading and Catch-Up Studies
Section II - Technology Capability Upgrade and Sectoral Catch-Up
7 Andre Cherubini Alves, Nicholas S. Vonortas, and Paulo Antonio Zawislak: Macro and Micro Foundations for Technology Upgrading and Innovation: The Case of Shipbuilding and Offshore Industry Missed Window of Opportunity in Brazil
8 Paulo N Figueiredo and Janaina Piana: Technology Upgrading in Natural Resource-Intensive Industries: Evidence from the Brazilian Mining Industry
9 Jae-Yong Choung and Hye-Ran Hwang: Upgrading Non-technological Capabilities: Evidence from Korean Firms
Section III - Emerging Paradigm on Technology Capability Upgrading
10 Tilman Altenburg: Catching Up or Developing Differently? Techno-Institutional Learning with a Sustainable Planet in Mind
11 John A. Mathews: Leapfrogging on Steroids: China's Green Growth Strategies
12 Tommaso Ciarli, Maria Savona, and Jodie Thorpe: Innovation for Inclusive Structural Change
13 Gabriela Dutrenit, Jose Miguel Natera, Martin Puchet, and Alexandre O. Vera-Cruz: Evolutionary Spheres that Condition the Technological Capabilities Accumulation in Latin America
Section IV - Innovation Policy for Technology Upgrading
14 Xudong Gao: Using Large-Scale Programs to Help Develop Technological Capabilities: Cases in China
15 Carlo Pietrobelli: Industrial and Innovation Policies in a World of Global Value Chains
16 Yevgeny Kuznetsov: Experimentalist Governance for Technology Upgrading: New Industrial Policy Process

About the author: 

Jeong-Dong Lee is a Professor of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program on Technology Management, Economics, and Policy at Seoul National University. He is an editor of the journal Science and Public Policy. Since 2019, he has served as the Special Advisor to the President for Economy and Technology in the Office of the President, The Republic of Korea. ; Keun Lee is a Professor of Economics and Head of the Center for Comparative Economic Studie at Seoul National University. He is an editor of Research Policy, and an associate editor of Industrial and Corporate Change. He previously served as the President of the International Schumpeter Society, and a member of the Committee for Development Policy of the UN. ; Dirk Meissner is Distinguished Professor and Head of the International Laboratory for Economics of Innovation at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow. He serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Knowledge Management and International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management. ; Slavo Radosevic is Professor of Innovation Studies at the University College London where he has also been acting and deputy director of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He acts as an expert for the EC, OECD, UNESCO, UNIDO, World Bank, UNECE, and several governments in CEE.; Nick Vonortas is Professor of Economics and International Affairs and Director of the Institute of International Science and Technology Policy at The George Washington University. He also holds a 'Sao Paulo Excellence Chair' in Technology and Innovation Policy at the University of Campinas, Brazil, and is an editor of the journal Science and Public Policy.

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