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Promoting innovation and economic growth in less developed territories

Wilkie, J. Callum (2018) Promoting innovation and economic growth in less developed territories. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.576ysfjayytd


This thesis is about innovation and economic growth in less developed territories. It is motivated by the inadequacy of our understanding of innovation in lagging contexts. It is situated in the body of literature that examines and stresses the contextually contingent nature of innovation. It does, however, branch out to probe the link between innovation and economic performance and contemplate the design of strategic approaches to promote the latter. It is composed of an introduction, four related chapters and a short conclusion. Chapter 1 relies on an investigation of a large sample of North American and European regions to assess whether all less developed regions are, from an innovation perspective, functionally the same. In particular, it addresses the issue of what makes the less developed regions of North America more innovative than their European counterparts. Chapter 2 expands the scope of the thesis to include the emerging world. It unpacks the processes of innovation hosted by China’s more and less developed cities, respectively, with a view to identify and understand the differences between the sets of factors that drive and shape processes of innovation in them. Chapter 3 examines the relationship between innovation and economic performance in less developed regions. A comparison of two types of lagging regions in Europe is undertaken to explore the extent to which different types of economically disadvantaged regions are capable of transforming knowledge and innovation into economic dynamism, given their unique socioeconomic and institutional characteristics. Chapter 4 reflects on the strategic approaches that have been relied on to promote innovation and economic growth more generally. It reviews a handful of ‘strategies of waste’ and ‘of gain’ to ascertain insights into the steps policy-makers can take to maximise the likelihood that territorial development policies fulfil their potential and contribute to the reduction of territorial disparities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 J. Callum Wilkie
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Supervisor: Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés

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