Innovation and Growth

Chasing a Moving Frontier

image of Innovation and Growth

Innovation is crucial to long-term economic growth, even more so in the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis. In this volume, the OECD and the World Bank jointly take stock of how globalisation is posing new challenges for innovation and growth in both developed and developing countries, and how countries are coping with them. The authors discuss options for policy initiatives that can foster technological innovation in the pursuit of faster and sustainable growth.


The various chapters highlight how the emergence of an integrated global market affects the impact of national innovation policy. What seemed like effective innovation strategies (e.g. policies designed to strengthen the R&D capacity of domestic firms) are no longer sufficient for effective catch-up. The more open and global nature of innovation makes innovation policies more difficult to design and implement at the national scale alone. These challenges are further complicated by new phenomena, such as global value chains and the fragmentation of production, the growing role of global corporations, and the ICT revolution. Where and why a global corporation chooses to anchor its production affects the playing field for OECD and developing economies alike.

Selected as a 2009 Notable Document by the American Library Association Government Documents Round Table.

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Foreign investment and the development of telecommunications in Latin America

Latin America leads developing countries by a significant margin in cumulative FDI flows to the telecommunications sector. Access to communications services has progressed very positively in the region in the past decade, accompanied by the expansion in foreign investment and innovation in both technology and service delivery. Both foreign investments – including from home-grown Latin multinationals – and mobile telephony, especially in the form of prepaid lines, have contributed to increasing the density of telecommunication services. However, service provision for relatively disadvantaged groups remains a major challenge that current investment and innovation trends have only begun to address. Two policy concerns dominate the communications sector: access to services remains very unequal – for example, only 25% of the poorer households have a phone at home – and innovations in network expansion are slow. This chapter makes a case for a stronger regulatory network, more competition and policies to support innovation.


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