OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy: Chile 2007

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The OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy offer a comprehensive assessment of the innovation system of individual OECD member and non-member countries, focusing on the role of government.  A growing political awareness of the importance of innovation for the Chile’s future has recently translated into two bold decisions: the creation of an Innovation Council for Competitiveness entrusted with the mission of proposing guidelines for a long-term national innovation strategy; and the introduction of a specific mining tax to increase resources available to implement this strategy. This report assesses the current status of Chile’s innovation system and policies, and identifies where improvements are most needed in order to make the most efficient use of this additional public investment.

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Towards More Innovation-Driven Growth

The economic performance of Chile, a small, open economy with a traditionally strong base in the production of commodities linked to natural resources, has been impressive over the last two decades. Between 1988 and 1997, it was particularly strong, with real GDP growing at an average annual rate of 7.9%. During this period, Chile’s “growth acceleration” (Hausmann et al., 2004) was spectacular. From 1984 to 1997 GDP per capita grew by 5- 6% a year, more than twice the long-term trend of 2.4% of the preceding 40 years (OECD, 2003). As a result, Chile not only stood out in the Latin American region but was one of the world’s best-performing economies. High growth was associated with a significant rise in total factor productivity (TFP).


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