Innovation Policy and Performance

A Cross-Country Comparison

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This publication examines the relationship between innovation policy and economic performance in six OECD countries – Austria, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.  In-depth analyses highlight countries’ strengths and weaknesses in innovation, as well as the effectiveness of their innovation policies in driving economic performance.  Taken together, the country studies constitute a rich evidence base which will be of considerable interest to innovation policy makers in all OECD countries.  They indicate that countries share a need to adapt – or even profoundly change – their innovation policies in order to deal with opportunities and threats posed by new technological and economic developments.




The Netherlands is one of the most affluent countries within the OECD. Its high level of income and wealth is based on a highly open economy. Openness has been highly beneficial for the country’s long-term development. It also requires rapid and thorough adaptations and policy responses to shifts in the international environment. As a matter of fact, the Netherlands has entered a challenging phase. After more than a decade of high growth it has seen a sharp decline in its macro-economic performance in the course of the most recent downturn of the business cycle. These developments have exposed some weaknesses in Dutch economic performance, in particular a weak productivity growth. For high economic growth to be sustainable in the longer term, a new growth paradigm,...


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