The institutional Embeddedness of Production Systems and the New Partnership for Africa´s Development (NEPAD): Lessons from East Asia

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    Abstract

    While still short of being entirely mainstream there does appear to be a growing recognition in bothpolicy circles and academia that economic development is not brought about by autonomous profitmaximisingagents interacting anonymously through equilibrium markets.1 Rather, economicdevelopment is an inherently disequilibric process involving interactive and institutionallyembedded processes in broader systems of firms, governments, research centres, universities,consultants, and other entities. These systems can tap into stocks of global knowledge andtechnologies, assimilate and adapt it to local circumstances, and create new knowledge ortechnologies.Such broader production systems are conceptualised in several different ways in the literature,e.g. Lundvall et al.'s `national innovation systems', Richard Whitley's `business systems', andSanjaya Lall's concept of `industrial technology development'. This paper identifies and outlinesfour different systemic approaches to economic development. All four approaches have primarilybeen developed to address nationally based institutional systems in advanced economies.Both the ontological premises and the policy implications of these systemic approaches departdistinctly from the conventional orthodoxy on economic development as articulated in the`Washington Consensus' and its later derivatives. The article goes on to explore which policyimplications the adoption of such a systemic view might have for the New Partnership for Africa'sDevelopment (NEPAD).
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
    Number of pages30
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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