Can the relative strength of the national systems of innovation mitigate the severity of the global recession on the BRICS?

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Baskaran, Angathevar ; Muchie, Mammo (2010)
  • Publisher: Institute for Economic Research on Innovation, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa

The research question we wish to investigate is the degree to which different countries with differing levels of NSI strength and weakness cope in mitigating some of the adverse impacts of the recession. In general during the recession confidence declines or what Keynes calls the „animal spirit‟. Creative destruction is heightened as firms destroyed need to find other ways of recreating their economic activities. Exports and imports change. Investment from abroad declines and consumers afraid of the recession save or even hoard. Such a state is likely to impact those who are absorbing FDI and exporting to the heartland of the current recession which is the US market. China and India both export mainly hardware and software related goods and services respectively to this market where reduction in demand has resulted in company closures and unemployment. Even free trade has been challenged with protectionist and nationalist rhetoric on the rise during this recession. Given a recession that has affected the entire world economy and its constituent parts, both the way the recession impacts on different national economies and the ability of national economies to mitigate the recession are likely to be different. This paper concentrates on the latter not on the former per se. We examine what mitigating capability different national innovation systems have in relation to dealing with and responding to the current world financial and economic crises. The hypothesis we would like to test with descriptive comparative data is how far the relative strength or weakness of the NSI is capable of mitigating the adverse impact of the recession. We assume that that the nature and degree of impact of the recession across countries are likely to be different. In this paper we would like to take only the NSI factor in trying to account how such differences due to the individual characteristics of NSIs across different countries mitigate recessionary impact on given economies. For this, we propose to examine selected sectors from selected emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa (BRICS excluding Russia) to estimate mitigating capabilities of different NSIs.
  • References (1)

    Table 6: South Africa: Key Economic Indicators - Balance of Payments (US$ millions) Indicators 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Trade Balance OECD (2008), Economic Outlook, No. 84, Paris: OECD.

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