Cultivating Innovation in Asia

Paper Session

Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Hyatt Regency Chicago, Randolph 1
Hosted By: American Committee on Asian Economic Studies & American Economic Association
  • Chair: Calla Wiemer, University of the Philippines

Urban Amenities and Innovation in Developing Countries: The Case of ASEAN and East Asia

Christopher Findlay
,
University of Adelaide
Fukunari Kimura
,
Keio University
Shandre Mugan Thangavelu
,
University of Adelaide

Abstract

Newly developed economies in ASEAN and East Asia have enjoyed an unprecedented success in exploring the effective use of global value chains and now start thinking of how to climb up the last step of economic development by creating an innovation hub. Innovation activities are rapidly globalized. Although innovation is strongly dictated by agglomeration forces, dispersion forces are also large. Foreign direct investment in higher education becomes pervasive, and R&D outsourcing as well as R&D for local adaptation is also growing. Furthermore, highly educated people become considerably mobile across national borders in the globalization era, aggressively seeking better living conditions for his/her professional and family life. Thus, in addition to investing in the national innovation system, it is crucial for newly developed economies to attract highly educated people, both nationals and non-nationals, by providing urban amenities. Urban amenities proposed by Glaeser, Kolko, and Saiz (Journal of Economic Geography, 1(1), 2001: 27-50) consist of four elements: the presence of a rich variety of services and consumer goods, aesthetics and physical setting, good public policy (e.g., higher education, health care, and safety), and speed (e.g., urban transport). This paper proposes a conceptual framework of urban amenities for innovation and assesses the current situation of newly developed economies in ASEAN and East Asia.

Innovation Activities in China, Taiwan, and South Korea

K. C. Fung
,
University of California-Santa Cruz

Abstract

This paper examines characteristics of innovation activities in China, Taiwan, and South Korea with a focus on internet sectors. For comparison, we also highlight high-tech features of California and in particular Silicon Valley.

Technological Innovation Policy in China: The Lessons and the Necessary Changes Ahead

Xiaolan Fu
,
University of Oxford
Wing Thye Woo
,
University of California-Davis
Jun Hou
,
University of Oxford

Abstract

China has now moved considerably away from being an imitative latecomer to technology toward to being an innovation-driven economy. The key lessons from China’s experience are that (1) there is synergy between External Knowledge and Indigenous Innovation because the process of learning the tacit knowledge required in using the foreign technology fully is made easier by strong in-house R&D capability; (2) the open innovation approach is very important because it allows multiple driving forces -- the state, the private sector and MNEs – with each playing a changing role over time; and (3) the commencement of foreign technology transfer and investment in indigenous innovation should go hand in hand. Without the numerous well funded programs to build up the innovation infrastructure to increase the absorptive capacity of Chinese firms, foreign technology would have remained static technology embedded in imported machines and would not have strengthened indigenous technological capability. However, China could still end up in the middle-income trap, unless it undertakes a series of critical reforms in its innovation regime in order to keep moving up growth trajectories that are increasingly skill-intensive and technology-intensive.
Discussant(s)
Mardi Dungey
,
University of Tasmania
Sumner La Croix
,
University of Hawaii
Gary Jefferson
,
Brandeis University
JEL Classifications
  • O3 - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
  • O5 - Economywide Country Studies