Path Dependency Factors Affecting the Innovation Systems of Latecomer Countries: Comparison of Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America

  • Urmas Varblane
  • Kadri Ukrainski
  • Oliver Lillestik
Part of the Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management book series (ITKM, volume 15)


This chapter views the path dependency and latecomer country concepts within the framework of national innovation systems (NISs). It intends to identify major lessons for Central Eastern European (CEE) countries in building up their NISs based on the experience of Asian and Latin American countries. The general conclusion is that there is a need for active public sector intervention in establishing and renewing the innovation systems process (knowledge production, diffusion, and use). The experience of the Latin American economies indicates that it is a necessary but insufficient precondition to change their NISs and initiate a rapid catching-up process. In addition, several preconditions should be fulfilled – supply of skilled labor, coherence in society, moderate income inequality, growing level of social capital, etc. However, at the core of transition rests institutional change. The major recommendation for CEE governments is to learn how Asian countries create and sustain the capabilities of their changing institutions, both formal and informal, within their NISs. The creation of those capabilities is crucially important for CEE countries.


Foreign Direct Investment Innovation System Latin American Country Path Dependency East Asian Country 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Authors acknowledge the support of the Estonian Science Foundation’s Grants No. 7405, 8580, and 8311 and target financing of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research No. 0180037s08.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urmas Varblane
    • 1
  • Kadri Ukrainski
    • 1
  • Oliver Lillestik
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TartuTartuEstonia

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