Economic_policy_from_an_evolutionary_per

Economic_policy_from_an_evolutionary_per - 156 Int J...

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156 Int. J. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, Vol. 7, Nos. 2/3/4/5, 2007 Copyright © 2007 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. Economic policy from an evolutionary perspective: the case of Finland Ron A. Boschma* Department of Economic Geography, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80 115, TC Utrecht 3508, The Netherlands E-mail: [email protected] * Corresponding author Markku Sotarauta Research Unit for Urban and Regional Development Studies (SENTE) University of Tampere Tampere FIN-33014, Finland E-mail: [email protected] Abstract: In the last decade, the Finnish economy has shown an unprecedented recovery, after being hit by a deep crisis in the early 1990s. This paper views and interprets this successful transformation process based on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) from an evolutionary perspective. Although, the rapid pace of the restructuring of the Finnish economy suggests a break with the past, this remarkable recovery was firmly rooted in its economic history. In addition, Finnish public policy played its role in turning Finland into a knowledge economy. Although, a master plan for the Finnish economy was lacking, many policies worked out quite well together over an extended period. Building on education, research and technology policy initiatives taken in the 1970s and 1980s, the deep economic crisis in the early 1990s paved the way for new policy directions, with a focus on network-facilitating innovation policies. Keywords: evolutionary economics; economic geography; innovation; policy; Finnish economy; Finnish policy; Information and Communication Technology cluster; ICT. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Boschma, R.A. and Sotarauta, M. (2007) ‘Economic policy from an evolutionary perspective: the case of Finland’, Int. J. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management , Vol. 7, Nos. 2/3/4/5, pp.156–173. Biographical notes: Ron A. Boschma is a Professor in Regional Economics in the Department of Economic Geography, Utrecht University. Previously, he had been working for the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the University of Bologna and the University of Twente. Currently, he is the Head of a research group that aims to work out conceptually and empirically the outlines of Evolutionary Economic Geography. He has widely published in international journals covering topics such as evolutionary economic geography, spatial evolution of industries, regional systems of innovation and industrial districts.
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Economic policy from an evolutionary perspective 157 Markku Sotarauta, PhD, is a Professor and the Director of the Research Unit for Urban and Regional Development Studies (Sente). In 2002, he received a nomination for adjunct professorship in Tampere University of Technology. He has consulted for the Finnish Parliament, many Finnish ministries, OECD, cities and regions and other organisations, in economic development, strategic management, strategic planning, leadership in networks, competitiveness of regions, etc. He has also participated in the round table discussions on regional policy of the President of Finland. He specialises
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