Fernando Vargas

PhD fellow

Research group(s):
1. Economics of Knowledge and Innovation
4. Governance and institutions
1. Economics of Knowledge and Innovation

Fernando Vargas is a Ph.D. Fellow in Economics and Governance, with a specialisation in the economics and policy studies of technical change. He holds a Master of Science degree in Applied Economics from the University of Chile and a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from the same university. He is currently a Competitiveness, Technology, and Innovation Specialist of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Before joining UNU-MERIT, he worked at the IDB, where he held advisory and research management responsibilities for Latin American public agencies in the design and implementation of innovation surveys. Previous work experience includes responsibilities at the National Innovation Council for Competitiveness (CNIC) and the National Statistics Institute, both in Chile. His field of interest is mainly focused on understanding the determinants of innovation, innovation strategies, and productivity in firms in Latin America and their implications for public policy design.
 




Selected publications by Fernando Vargas


Articles (journal, professional, popular)
Confraria, Hugo & Fernando Vargas (eds.), 2017, Scientific systems in Latin America: performance, networks, and collaborations with industry, The Journal of Technology Transfer, DOI: 10.1007/s10961-017-9631-7, More information
Crespi, Gustavo A., Elena Arias Ortiz, Ezequiel Tacsir, Fernando Vargas & Pluvia Zuniga, 2014, Innovation for economic performance: the case of Latin American firms, Eurasian Business Review, 4(1): 31-50, More information


Book chapters
Anta, Rafael, Gustavo A. Crespi, Juan Carlos Navarro & Fernando Vargas, 2020, The Time Has Come for Science. Will Latin America and the Caribbean Listen?, in: Responding to COVID-19 with Science, Innovation, and Productive Development, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington D.C, More information
Iizuka, Michiko, Carlo Pietrobelli & Fernando Vargas, 2019, The Potential for Innovation in Mining Value Chains. Evidence from Latin America, in: A. Daly, D. Humphreys, J. Raffo and G. Valacchi, Innovation in Mining, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK
Crespi, Gustavo A., Jocelyn Olivari Narea & Fernando Vargas, 2016, Productividad e innovación y la nueva economía de servicios en América Latina y el Caribe: Retos e implicaciones de política, in: J. C. Navarro and J. Olivari (eds.), La política de innovación en América Latina y el Caribe: Nuevos caminos, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, D.C, More information
Crespi, Gustavo A., Ezequiel Tacsir & Fernando Vargas, 2016, Innovation Dynamics and Productivity: Evidence for Latin America, in: M. Grazzi and C. Pietrobelli (eds.), Firm Innovation and Productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean The Engine of Economic Development, Palgrave Macmillan US, New York, USA, More information
Arias Ortiz, Elena, Gustavo A. Crespi, Alejandro Rasteletti & Fernando Vargas, 2015, La productividad en el sector servicios en América Latina y el Caribe, in: D. Aboal, G. Crespi and L. Rubalcaba (eds.), La innovación y la nueva economía de servicios en América Latina y el Caribe. Retos e implicaciones de política, Manosanta Desarrollo Editorial, Montevideo, Uruguay
Crespi, Gustavo A. & Fernando Vargas, 2015, Innovación y productividad en las empresas de servicios en ALC. Evidencia a partir de encuestas de innovación, in: D. Aboal, G. Crespi and L. Rubalcaba (eds.), La innovación y la nueva economía de servicios en América Latina y el Caribe. Retos e implicaciones de política, Manosanta Desarrollo Editorial, Montevideo, Uruguay


UNU-MERIT Working Papers
Iizuka, Michiko, Carlo Pietrobelli & Fernando Vargas, 2019, The Potential for innovation in mining value chains. Evidence from Latin America, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2019-033
Iizuka, Michiko, Fernando Vargas & Jakob Baumann, 2017, Financial mechanism to invest in knowledge from natural resource revenues: Experiences from Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Peru, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2017-042
Crespi, Gustavo A., Ezequiel Tacsir & Fernando Vargas, 2014, Innovation dynamics and productivity: Evidence for Latin America, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2014-092
Crespi, Gustavo A., Ezequiel Tacsir & Fernando Vargas, 2014, Innovation and productivity in services: Empirical evidence from Latin America, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2014-069
Arias Ortiz, Elena, Gustavo A. Crespi, Alejandro Rasteletti & Fernando Vargas, 2014, Productivity in services in Latin America and the Caribbean, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2014-056


External working papers
Iizuka, Michiko, Fernando Vargas, Jakob Baumann, Osvaldo Urzua & Alejandra Wood, 2016, Discovering new Public-Private Partnerships for productive and technological development in emerging mining countries, This is the output from IDRC/REDSUR project on 'Future of Extractive Industries in Latin America and Caribbean: Challenges and Opportunities in Science, Technology and Innovation'
Angelelli, Pablo, Facundo Luna & Fernando Vargas, 2016, Características, determinantes e impacto de la innovación en las empresas paraguayas, This document (In Spanish) presents the results of the first National Innovation Survey of Paraguay (2013). Using several indicators, we describe the innovation inputs and outputs of Paraguayan firms in the 2010-2012 period. We also run a simplified version of the CDM model to estimate the main determinants and impacts of innovation in Paraguay. In line with similar exercises in other countries, larger and export-oriented firms are more likely to invest in innovation. These investments positively affect the innovation outputs. However, there is weak evidence that the innovation output of Paraguayan firms is increasing their productivity levels. These results suggest the presence of high levels of heterogeneity in innovation outcomes., More information
Vargas, Fernando, 2016, Programas públicos de apoyo a la innovación en servicios. Lecciones desde Finlandia, This paper (in Spanish) describes the Serve programme, designed and implemented by TEKES, a pioneer experience in supporting innovation in services. Main results and lessons learned are discussed., More information
Crespi, Gustavo A., Ezequiel Tacsir & Fernando Vargas, 2014, Innovation and Productivity in Services: Empirical Evidence from Latin America, This paper analyzes and compares the determinants of innovation in the service industry and its impact on labor productivity at the firm level in three countries of Latin America (Chile, Colombia, and Uruguay). The main findings show that, similar to what is observed in manufacturing industry, service firms that invest the most in innovation activities are more likely to introduce changes or improvements in their production process and/or product mix, and those firms that innovate have higher labor productivity than non-innovative firms. Size was found to be a less relevant determinant of innovation in services than in manufacturing, suggesting that the need for infrastructure and associated sunk costs are lower in services. Conversely, cooperation was found to be far more important for innovation in services than in manufacturing, in line with the more interactive nature of innovation in services. Yet, large differences in statistical significance and size of the coefficients of explanatory variables among the countries studied suggest that the framework conditions where a firm operates have an important role in innovation decisions., More information
Tacsir, Ezequiel, Elena Arias Ortiz, Gustavo A. Crespi, Fernando Vargas & Pluvia Zuniga, 2013, Innovación para el desempeño económico El caso de las empresas en América Latina y el Caribe, En esta nota técnica se analiza una amplia gama de indicadores de innovación con el fin de describir el comportamiento de las empresas manufactureras en la región de América Latina y el Caribe, a partir de los Enterprise Surveys 2010, recientemente public, More information
Tacsir, Ezequiel, Gustavo A. Crespi, Pluvia Zuniga, Fernando Vargas & Elena Arias Ortiz, 2012, Innovation for Economic Performance: The Case of Latin American and Caribbean Firms, In this note, a wide range of innovation indicators are analyzed in order to describe the innovation behavior of manufacturing firms in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region using the recently released Enterprise Surveys 2010. The Enterprise Surve, More information


Research reports
Corrocher, Nicoletta, Roberto Mavilia, Fernando Vargas & Bart Verspagen, 2016, D2.2 Report about the state of the art, SmartEIZ – H2020-TWINN-2015 Strengthening scientific and research capacity of the Institute of Economics, Zagreb as a cornerstone for Croatian socioeconomic growth through the implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategy


Conference contributions
Vargas, Fernando, 2018, Determinants and effects of ‘green’ innovation investments, Red Latinoamericana de de Economía de la Innovación y el Emprendimiento. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Iizuka, Michiko, Fernando Vargas & Jakob Baumann, 2016, Sustainable management of natural resources via enhanced knowledge bases: Experiences from four Latin American countries, TIPS ANNUAL FORUM: INDUSTRIALIZATION AND THE MINING ECONOMY Johannesburg, South Africa
Iizuka, Michiko, Jakob Baumann & Fernando Vargas, 2016, Sustainable management of natural resources via enhancing knowledge base: experiences from Latin American countries, SPRU 50th Anniversary Conference, Brighton, UK
Vargas, Fernando, 2016, Innovation strategies in Latin American firms, OECD Blue Sky 2016 Forum. Ghent, Belgium
Baumann, Jakob, Michiko Iizuka & Fernando Vargas, 2016, Sustainable management of natural resources via enhancing knowledge base: Experiences from four Latin American countries, SPRU 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK.
Confraria, Hugo & Fernando Vargas, 2015, Scientific networks and collaborations with industry in Latin America, Globelics 2015, Havana, September 2015


Other (editorship, media appearance, keynote, etc.)
Vargas, Fernando, 2016, Blessings in Disguise? From Mining to Knowledge in Emerging Economies , UNU-MERIT Blog , More information
Vargas, Fernando, 2015, Servicios al rescate de la productividad, Puntos sobre la i - The innovation Blog of the Inter-American Development Bank, This post (in Spanish) summarizes empirical evidence on the importance of innovation in Latin American service firms and discuss the main innovation policy challenges to accelerate productivity growth in the service sector, More information
Anlló, Guillermo, Gustavo A. Crespi, Gustavo Lugones, Diana Suárez, Ezequiel Tacsir & Fernando Vargas, 2014, Manual para la implementacion de encuestas de innovacion, El presente manual se ha elaborado con el objetivo de aumentar la disponibilidad y el grado de comparación de las estadísticas e indicadores de innovación en las empresas, en los países de la región, 80, More information


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