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Neo-Schumpeterian Economics of Catch-up by the Latecomers: Knowledge, path-creation, and the Middle income trap

Title£ºNeo-Schumpeterian Economics of Catch-up by the Latecomers: Knowledge, path-creation, and the Middle income trap
Speaker£ºKeun Lee  professor, Seoul National University
Moderator: Prof. Xue Lan, Dean, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University

Commentator: Prof. Li Xibao, School of Ecnomic and Management, Tsinghua University
Venue£ºRoom 302, SPPM
Time£º3-5pm, Dec 11th,2012
Language: English
Brief introduction£º
The questions that motivate this study are as follows: Which factors lead to sustainable growth? Which factors cause a short-lived catch-up, particularly for middle-income developing countries? The current study proposes technological capability as the key factor for sustainable progress. A detailed analysis of the innovation system at three levels (firm, sector, and country) is provided, using a neo-Schumpeterian perspective. Empirical analysis shows that successful catching-up economies and their firms specialize in short-cycle technologies, thereby promoting the localization of knowledge diffusion and creation as well as enabling further development based on indigenous capabilities.This is a rational strategy because sectors with shorter technological cycle times see the frequent emergence of new technologies as existing ones rapidly become obsolete. Thus, latecomer economies need not master existing technologies dominated by the advanced economies, which tend to be more active in sectors with longer cycle times. The current study proposes a broad roadmap that recommends technological specializations for middle-income developing countries and trade-based specializations for low-income developing countries.
Dr. Keun Lee is professor of economics at the Seoul National University, and a director of the Center for Economic Catch-up. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He is recently appointed as a member of the Committee for Development Policy of the UN headquarter, starting from January 2013. He is a co-editor of Research Policy, an associate editor for Asian Journal of Technology Innovation, and the managing editor of Seoul Journal of Economics. He was a consultant at the World Bank, lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and a research fellow at the East West Center, Hawaii. The main area of his research is economics of catch-up with focus on innovation, corporate organization and growth, and industrial policy. As of November 2012, his publications have received a total of more than 2,030 citations according to Google Scholar.