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Systems of innovation, diversification, and the R&D trap: a case study of Kuwait

Arman, Husam, Iammarino, Simona ORCID: 0000-0001-9450-1700, Ibarra-Olivo, J. Eduardo and Lee, Neil ORCID: 0000-0002-4138-7163 (2022) Systems of innovation, diversification, and the R&D trap: a case study of Kuwait. Science and Public Policy, 49 (2). 179 – 190. ISSN 0302-3427

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Identification Number: 10.1093/scipol/scab073


The relationship between research and development (R&D) investment and economic development is well established. Yet, at a global scale, the resource-rich countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council are consistent outliers in this relationship, combining rich-world national incomes with R&D expenditure of developing countries. This paper uses a case study on Kuwait to illustrate a particular form of developmental trap, a version of the resource curse, which makes it irrational for private business firms to invest in R&D and innovation. Based on an analysis of the literature and secondary data, focus groups, and an original survey of large manufacturing firms, we argue that a narrow focus on R&D-led diversification of economic activity ignores the systemic problems faced by Kuwait and, particularly, the unsuitable supply of skills and capabilities provided by the national education and training system.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2021 10:45
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2024 16:24

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