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.
Keun Lee is a Professor of Economics at the Seoul National University and Director of the Center for Economic Catch-up. He is a globally recognized expert on the economics of catch-up and Asian economies. Professor Lee is also a member of the UN's Committee for Development Policy, a co-editor of the journal Research Policy and a member of the governing board of Globelics, as well as Asia-Pacific Innovation Network.
Foreword John A. Mathews; Preface; Part I. Introduction and Perspectives: 1. Introduction; 2. Knowledge as a key factor for economic catch-up; Part II. Empirical Analysis at Three Levels: 3. Knowledge and country-level catch-up; 4. Knowledge and sector-level catch-up: Asia versus Latin America; 5. Knowledge and firm-level catch-up: Korean versus US firms; Part III. Toward a Theory and How to Escape the Trap: 6. Toward a knowledge-based theory of economic catch-up; 7. How to build up technological capabilities to enter short-cycle technology sectors; 8. Catching-up and leapfrogging in China and India; Part IV. Technological Turning Points and Conclusion: 9. Hypothesizing a theory of technological turning points; 10. Summary and concluding remarks; Appendix tables; Notes; Bibliography; Index.