How Relevant and Useful is the Concept of National Systems of Innovation?

Woojin Yoon, Eunjung Hyun


This paper aimed to provide an analytical and theoretical discussion of the national innovation systems perspective. In doing so, first, we sketched out some of the economists’ main endeavours in theorizing about the relationship between technological development and economic progress over the past several decades. Second part of the presentation was concerned with identifying and describing the driving forces behind innovations; that was, an economic actor’s desire to gain and sustain competitive advantages. In the third part of the discussion, we presented major theoretical accounts put forward by the authors of national systems of innovation focusing on the question of which institutional elements shape the behaviours and interactions of economic actors in terms of innovative performance. Then we reflected on some of the major policy implications enshrined in the study of national innovation systems.


National innovation systems; knowledge-intensive economy; technological development; innovation policy.

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