One of the puzzles about why some countries have stronger economic growth than others revolves around the so-called 'middle-income trap', the situation in which a country that has grown strongly gets stuck at a certain level. In this book, Keun Lee explores the reasons why examples of successful catching-up are limited and in particular, why the Asian economies, including China, have managed to move, or are moving, beyond middle-income status but economic growth has stalled in some Latin American countries. This is one of the first studies to demonstrate using patent analysis that the secret lies in innovative systems at the firm, sector and country levels which promote investment in what the author calls 'short-cycle' technologies and thereby create a new path different from that of forerunning countries. With its comprehensive policy framework for development as well as useful quantitative methods, this is essential reading for academic researchers and practitioners.
- Fresh analysis of the reasons why some Asian countries, including China, have managed to move, or are moving, beyond the middle-income trap to catch up with the most advanced economies of the world while others, for example in Latin America, have failed
- Provides a comprehensive policy framework for economic development, from a Schumpeterian perspective focused on technology and innovation, to show how to achieve sustained economic growth beyond the level of the middle incomes
- Proposes methodologies of using patent data to analyze innovation systems at the country, sector and firms levels, to explore their impact on economic performance
Keun Lee is a Professor of Economics at the Seoul National University and Director of the Center for Economic Catch-up.