Creating the Capacity to Benefit from Technological Change in Developing Countries

Watu Wamae


What really makes an economy competitive? This paper reviews and discusses how the capacity to generate, exploit and diffuse new knowledge is key in enabling countries to capitalise on challenges brought about by rapid technology-driven transformations rather than succumb to their adverse effects. In particular, we look at the importance of new knowledge emanating from both domestic and foreign sources in the innovation process in view of the contention that "international technology transfer" is critical for growth in developing countries. We find that there is a tight link between high rates of technology acquisition and high investment ratios, and that the absorptive capacity is a sine qua non of foreign technology benefits.

Keywords: absorptive capacity, knowledge, developing countries, systems of innovation

JEL: C49, O11, O38

ISSN 1871-9872

Download the working paper