China's Innovation Challenge: An Introduction
Lewin, A. Y., M. Kenney and J. P. Murmann (2016). China's Innovation Challenge: An Introduction. China's Innovation Challenge: Overcoming the Middle Income Trap. A. Y. Lewin, M. Kenney and J. P. Murmann. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-1-107-12712-8: 1-31.
51 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 6, 2016
The current Chinese development model is nearing its limits. The World Bank has cautioned that China could find itself in a “middle-income trap”. China recognizes that it must dramatically increase its capacity for innovation to avoid this trap. This chapter provides an introduction to the enormous complexities and challenges that China faces in transforming the diverse resources available to it for creating an innovation-based economy. It describes how China has over the past four decades developed from being largely isolated and irrelevant to the world economy to becoming the world’s second-largest economy. The chapter lays out two diametrically opposed scenarios for the future development of the Chinese economy. The first, optimistic scenario argues that China can build ever-stronger innovation capability and become a high-income nation. The second, more pessimistic scenario makes the case that, without radical reforms, existing Chinese political and economic institutions will inexorably relegate China to the middle-income trap. The chapter also introduces 14 essays by leading international scholars that collectively discuss with frankness the opportunities and challenges China faces across the different aspects of its society. It does so this by sketching the role of institutions, history, politics, culture, and competition in shaping the attitudes and capacities of individuals, firms, and entire sectors to become more innovative.
Keywords: China, innovation, multi-level analysis, Chinese Economy
JEL Classification: O10, O30, O40, O53, P20, P30, H10, H7, K11, K20, L50, M10
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