Emerging Tech

Innovation, Diffusion And Catching Up In The Fifth Long Wave

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Executive Summary

Does the new technological paradigm based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) create new windows of opportunity or further obstacles for catching up countries? The paper discusses this question by taking neo-Schumpeterian long wave theory as the basic framework of analysis. According to this approach, the current rapid diffusion of the ICT-based paradigm marks the initial phase of a fifth long wave period. The paper concludes by suggesting the existence of a temporary mismatch between the techno-economic and the socio-institutional system, which makes the catching up process more difficult for large parts of the developing world.

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