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Tech-based Inequalities and the New Policy Dimension in Local Economic Development: A Framework for Analysing Local Development Processes in the Knowledge-Based Economy

Ciapetti, Lorenzo (2008) Tech-based Inequalities and the New Policy Dimension in Local Economic Development: A Framework for Analysing Local Development Processes in the Knowledge-Based Economy. Discussion Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

There has been an increasing emphasis In recent years on the role of tech-transfer programs in local development, highlighting the potential benefits of a new knowledge-based competitiveness. The dominant goal of a knowledge society in advanced countries, however, has prompted a weak debate on the pressures that originate from this new paradigm at local level and on the inequalities it generates. The variables that intervene to shape and steer local economic development (LED) in the knowledge-based economy are here considered in order to build a general framework of analysis. The proposed analytical framework for LED recognises the importance of six dimensions: contextualisation, expectations, timeliness, capabilities, interdependencies and inclusion. It is argued that a crucial policy dimension stems from the several asymmetries that may arise with regard to the different capabilities of the involved local actors (firms, institutions, individuals) vis-à-vis the cumulative advantage dynamics of knowledge and technology. A problematic issue, raised by means of a cross-country comparison between the US and Italy, pertains to the exclusion of “disadvantaged actors” (small firms and low-skilled individuals) in technology-based development programs. It is also argued that inequalities in terms of access to technology risk to hinder governance-based processes in local development. To this end, a countervailing investment in deliberative forms of democracy would require a policy path that aims at reducing LED disequilibria by means of an adaptive, democratic and creative process of learning. Implications for a future comparative research agenda among localities are introduced with regard to this perspective.


Keywords
Local economic development; knowledge economy; governance; tech-based development; inequality

Type of Work:Monograph (Discussion Paper)
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Business
Department:Institute for Economic Development Policy
Additional Information:

Institute for Economic Development Policy Discussion Paper Series, number 2008-01

Subjects:H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
ID Code:41

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  • Tech-based Inequalities and the New Policy Dimension in Local Economic Development: A Framework for Analysing Local Development Processes in the Knowledge-Based Economy. (deposited 23 Jul 2008 17:40) [Currently Displayed]

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