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The interactions between national systems and sectoral patterns of innovation: a cross-country analysis of Pavitt’s taxonomy

Castellacci, Fulvio (2006): The interactions between national systems and sectoral patterns of innovation: a cross-country analysis of Pavitt’s taxonomy.

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Abstract

Do national and sectoral innovation systems interact with each other? The paper explores this unexplored question by carrying out a cross-sector cross-country analysis of European systems of innovation in the 1990s. The empirical study takes Pavitt’s (1984) taxonomy as a starting point, and it investigates the cross-country variability of Pavitt’s sectoral patterns of innovation. The analysis leads to three main results. First, the various technological trajectories show large differences across countries, due to the influence of national innovation systems. Second, there is evidence that the interaction between national systems and sectoral patterns of innovation constitutes an independent source of variability in the sample. Third, the analysis leads to the identification of eight sector- and country-specific technological trajectories in European manufacturing industries, and, based on that, proposes a refinement of Pavitt’s taxonomy. The refined taxonomy, in a nutshell, suggests that sectoral systems must be supported by and interact with their respective national systems in order to become industrial leaders.

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