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date: 26 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article surveys comparative institutional research from sociology and political science that seeks to explain patterns of innovation across the advanced industrial economies. It has two broad aims. Firstly, the article reviews three scholarly literatures that link innovation to the orientation of national institutional models: political science research on industrial policy and competitiveness, sociological institutionalism, and the varieties of capitalism tradition. Secondly, it explores in more detail how national institutional differences across the advanced industrial economies impact innovation within the knowledge economy. Drawing on recent research linking sectoral systems of innovation and national institutional models, the article explores how financial, labour market, and corporate governance institutions across different types of economies impact the organization of ‘radically innovative’ companies in new technology often associated with Silicon Valley.

Keywords: institutional research, sociology, political science, innovation, institutional models

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