«The problems of development fall within a border area between economics and the other social “sciences,” such as sociology and psychology. […]
When the border areas are not precisely delimited, they tend to turn into no-man’s lands on which the adopters of the various knowledge paradigms try to impose their dominion, giving rise to a multiplicity of explanations devoid of the characteristic attributes of scientific explication. These explanations, often based on overt or latent forms of methodological anarchism (which are more frequent on the sociological and psychological side), have slowed down the systematization of the studies on development so far. Such studies are important not only on the level of knowledge but also because they directly influence the social and economic context and the public intervention policies. These policies have otherwise to take place without intersubjective reference points, although only the latter could rationalize the short-term propensities of conflicting social and political groups.»
«Public development policies are all the more effective the more correctly they identify constraints and obstacles, leveraging strategic variables that are truly functional to development and economic growth. Nevertheless, almost all typologies of public interventions for development, from the customary ones based on localization or management incentives to the most recent ones focused on technological progress and innovation, neglect social variables. It is argued that operating on economic variables through intervention policies perforce implies a change in social variables. However, no scientific theory supports this hypothesis, which is constantly falsified by facts and contradicts the very postulates and the logical structure of economic analysis.» IT
(Politiche di sviluppo, innovazione, parchi scientifici e tecnologici [Development policies, innovation, science parks], pp. 69, 75)
Politiche di sviluppo, innovazione, parchi scientifici e tecnologici
[Development Policies, Innovation, Science Parks]
[Development Policies, Innovation, Science Parks]
Parte prima. I problemi dello sviluppo: variabili economiche e variabili sociali.
[Part 1. The problem of development: economic and social variables]
- Alcune problematiche dello sviluppo in ambito economico
[Some development issues in the context of economics]
- Il progresso tecnologico e l’innovazione.
[Technical progress and innovation]
- L’innovazione e le pre-condizioni dello sviluppo.
[Innovation and the pre-condition for development]
- Anomalie economiche e sociali del mercato e squilibri nella dinamica dell’innovazione.
[Economic and social market anomalies and imbalances in the innovation dynamics]
Parte seconda. L’esplicazione del Parco scientifico e tecnologico nell’ambito degli interventi pubblici orientati alla gestione del processo di innovazione.
[Part 2. Science parks in the context of the public interventions oriented towards innovation process]
- Le definizioni descrittive del concetto di Parco.
[Descriptive definitions of the concept of science park]
- Il Parco come infrastruttura puntuale con obiettivi di sviluppo.
[Science parks as punctual infrastructures with development objectives]
Parte terza. Il ruolo del Parco nei sistemi di mercato sviluppati e industrializzati.
[Part 3. Science parks in developed and industrialized market systems]
- Le esternalità derivanti dall’attività di ricerca e sviluppo.
[Externalities from R&D activities]
- L’effetto di spiazzamento e il rendimento sociale delle risorse pubbliche.
[The crowding-out effect and the social rate of return of public resources]
- L’intervento pubblico in materia di ricerca e sviluppo e la salvaguardia delle regole del mercato.
[Public interventions in R&D and the safeguarding of market rules]
Parte quarta. Il ruolo del Parco nei sistemi socio-economici in via di sviluppo.
[Part 4. Science parks in developing socio-economic systems]
- L’attivazione delle pre-condizioni dello sviluppo.
[Activating the pre-conditions for development]
- L’investimento in capitale umano innovativo in funzione dello sviluppo.
[The investment on innovative human capital for development]
- La formazione di capitale umano e la cultura dell’innovazione.
[The formation of human capital and the culture of innovation]
- Le esternalità derivanti dall’attività formativa e il rendimento sociale della spesa pubblica.
[Externalities from educational and training activities and the social rate of return of public expenditure]
- Tipologie di Parco con effetti indotti negativi nelle aree in via di sviluppo.
[Typologies of science parks with induced negative effects on developing areas]
Appendice. Il ruolo del Parco nell’ambito del Programma Operativo Regionale della Sardegna.
[Appendix. The role of the science park in the Sardinia’s Regional Operational Program]
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1/33«Economics, starting from the mid-nineteenth century, became independent of political philosophy. It constructed a language characterized by the same mathematical syntax of the natural sciences, even if it presents explanatory difficulties in terms of dynamics and the semantic interpretation of its postulates. The social sciences are still moving in a muddle in which ideological positions, poor methodological understanding, in short, manifest or latent prejudices towards science applied or applicable to humans, prevent a systematization that alone could justify a dialogue with economics.» IT
2/33«Unlike economic growth models, so-called development theories contain an amalgam of social and economic variables, negatively affected by the latent assumption of a presumed causal relation between the two types of variables or, more often, of an unspecified, vague interdependence between them.
More properly, economic growth models attempt to make social (cultural) variables endogenous by explaining them in strictly economic terms (as may be done for every behavioral repertoire), i.e., by transforming social variables from social predicates into economic predicates.» IT
3/33«The concept of technical progress within the social “sciences” is entirely different from the concept used within economic models. In the social “sciences” field, it expresses technological innovation, which is a function of given social variables (such as forms of learning and teaching, educational processes, generalized scientific reinforcers in the social context, reference groups, science-oriented mass media) and, in turn, can be an independent variable in relation to other social variables. In economic models, it simply expresses a form of investment in learning by doing, in the production of new knowledge (by sacrificing a share of consumption), or in processes directly oriented to human capital. Making technical progress endogenous to economic language means, in general, turning it into investment.» IT
4/33«Given the postulate of disjunction, it can be stated, using a language to be explained (explicandum) and not a scientific explicative language (explicatum), that the social variables, and social development in general, are a precondition (or a prerequisite) for economic growth. In fact, it follows from the postulate of disjunction that social (cultural) variables are not causes of economic growth, but necessary (even if not sufficient) conditions for economic growth (which depends on economic variables).» IT
5/33«C. Clark (Growthmanship: a study in the mythology of investment) [...] takes into consideration cultural variables (what he names human factors) as exogenous variables with respect to economic variables expressed in a (neoclassical) logic of market competition. However, a restrictive connotation is given to these exogenous variables, given the assumption that that they can progress only at a relatively slow, albeit uniform, pace and that any action aimed at abruptly forcing that pace does risk wasting resources and slowing it down. It means society (like the market) should have its own internal dynamics guaranteeing the equilibrium, and the latter would be reachable spontaneously.
Clark’s notion that it is possible to extend equilibrium dynamics to human factors, i.e., to cultural variables (exogenous with respect to economic variables), is still very popular, even if it rests on a false generalization that does not distinguish between exchange and market interactions (the subject of economic analysis) and other and different types of social interaction.» IT
6/33«Clark’s perspective is proposed again by Hirschman (The strategy of economic development), with closer attention to social variables. However, the limitations of all these analyses remain. As a matter of fact, although a distinction between cultural (socio-psychological) variables from economic variables is made, it is not based on a more abstract unitary paradigm that subsumes the two subsets (one referring to economic behaviors and the other referring to socio-psychological behaviors), but rather on the assumption that everything that cannot be traced back within the domain of economic concepts is residually considered sociological or psychological.»
«In a later work, Hirschman (Exit, Voice, and Loyalty) attempts to formulate a unitary paradigm [...]. However, the framework he proposes (which in this book is broader) remains ambiguous and generic, being social facts defined as forces external to the market, i.e., as a complement to the set of market forces.» IT
7/33«In the classic expression by Rosenberg, technological progress still represents a “black box” not yet fully explored. Nevertheless, the close interconnection between technological dynamics and innovation cannot be denied: technological progress is such as it incorporates and expresses a set of innovative activities.» IT
8/33«N. Rosenberg (Perspectives on technology; Inside the black box: technology and economics) shows how technological research activity and innovation occur at all stages of industrial production, overcoming the Schumpeterian perspective on innovation as a unique and unrepeatable act. The latter reflects a point of view on scientific progress that favors the moment of the great theoretical systematizations or the related great discoveries rather than the subsequent moments of slow and continuous expansion of technology through the progressive widening of its borders to increasingly specific fields of application.
Major innovations have a character of generality that, by definition, overshadow the multiple analytical contents, which must be progressively recovered through a continuous expansion of the more abstract research towards operational-type experimental fields. The progressive analyticity of the fields of application of science and technology identifies the flexible boundary between a more abstract area of research, which could be defined as pure science, and a much more analytical, specific and sectorialized area of research, which could be defined as applied science (or technology) and that is susceptible to operational insertion into the productive combination.» IT
9/33«Characterizing the innovative process as a continuum means considering innovation as an entrepreneurial core activity, a modality typical of physical (technological) capital and human (organizational) capital. In advanced societies, physical and human capital are combined in the enterprise not in purely repetitive terms but with an innovatory approach. There is a difference, indeed, between the routine entrepreneur, whose attitude is not to innovate but only stably manage a combination of factors of production, and the deviant entrepreneur, who shows an innovative attitude towards physical and human capital in every segment of the production chain.
In this respect, the difference between developing and developed areas is that, in the former, the routine is generalized within enterprises and society, whereas, in the latter, the innovative attitude is generalized. A generalized entrepreneurial innovation must replace the generalized entrepreneurial routine to activate a real development process. Development processes and economic growth require innovation to be widespread and not only activated at the level of individual and specific entrepreneurial activities.» IT
10/33«The characteristics of innovation identified by Rosenberg (Perspectives on technology; Inside the black box: technology and economics)–such as the continuous adjustments and progressive changes in each stage of the production process, the close correspondence between innovation and dissemination, the capacity to generate substitute innovations expressed by the social context in which innovation is generalized, the congruity between technological innovation, the capital goods industry and the influence of expectations of future change on the behavior of economic agents–are indeed just as many social factors affecting the processes of development and economic growth. The “social determinants of a society’s ability to generate technical progress in the first place” are social preconditions for economic growth, i.e., specific features that must characterize innovation so that the development process can occur.» IT
11/33«Technological dynamics must be endogenous, i.e., internalized and diffused in the social context, to produce effects within that context. Continuity in innovation, as opposed to discontinuity, is essential for the innovation to manifest itself as a widespread and generalized social attitude (innovation culture); only under this circumstance does innovation become an active factor in socio-economic dynamics. When a given social context does not directly express a set of innovative attitudes and behaviors, i.e., an innovation continuum, single and segmented innovations have limited effects within the system, and the system is unable to produce innovation on innovation internally. On the contrary, if the social context expresses generalized innovative attitudes and behaviors, the innovation processes will have multiplier effects starting from the innovation produced at first.» IT
12/33«The innovation culture and the market culture can both have (each in its domain of application) different degrees of internalization. Assuming a range from 0 to 1, the value for the set of economic (market) behaviors and the set of innovative behaviors can be more or less close to 1; namely, these sets can be more or less large subsets of an individual’s or a group’s set of operant behaviors. Moreover, a correspondence between the subset of economic behaviors and the subset of innovative behaviors may exist, which concerns all elements of the two subsets or a part of these elements.
The preconditions for development indicate the degree of internalization (and generalization) of the market culture (i.e., the rules of the game on which the market is based) and the degree of internalization (and generalization) of the innovation culture that must qualify the socio-economic context so that the market can be characterized as an innovative market.» IT
13/33«When the scientific and technological dynamics is purely repetitive, the market may express a (competitive) equilibrium in the allocation of resources, but it is static in terms of innovation in the contents of processes and products. In short, here, the market achieves its primary objective, which is the Pareto optimum, but it has no cumulative dynamics. The latter is exogenous to the market, by definition, but qualifies it historically as depending on the culture characterizing the society within which the market works. In particular, the cumulative dynamics depends on the more or less extended scientific and technological innovative component characterizing a given culture.» IT
14/33«Ever-expanding scientific and technological dynamics currently characterizes advanced industrial societies. The resulting innovative and competitive market tends to globalization; therefore, all socio-economic systems have to confront and compare to societies with positions of economic leadership. It follows the need to fill the relative-development gap by correctly identifying not only the economic variables but also, and above all, the social variables determining that gap.» IT
15/33«In simple terms, the market workings can be explicated by making innovation an endogenous variable within the economic language. That means expressing innovation in terms of entrepreneurs' R&D investment choices based on the private cost-benefit ratio of those investments; here, innovation spreads mainly through the set of competitive relations between firms based on knowledge-based and imitative learning. Through this process, the effects of innovation go beyond the private benefits deriving from entrepreneurial R&D activities and spill over into the entire economic system (the competing producers and the consumers), resulting in several induced social benefits.
The market, therefore, plays a decisive role in the dynamics of innovation: the greater its enlargement and consolidation and the more articulated and generalized its competitive structure, the greater the possibility that innovation has spillover effects and brings about an innovative continuum extended to all levels of research, production, and marketing.» IT
16/33«More or less pronounced imbalances in the dynamics of innovation can occur within the market, where constraints hinder and prevent its diffusion. [...]
The first type of constraint is the fact that those activities that lead to induced social benefits exceeding private benefits (externalities) are under-dimensioned by the market, in terms of resource allocation, compared to the socially desirable level (corresponding to the maximization of the social rate of return). The extreme case is the production of public goods, whose (social) benefits are so diffused that no firm operating in the market (according to the maximization of the private rate of return) is willing to invest in that production.»
«The second case concerns those systems characterized by discontinuous (discrete), or null, innovative facts (factors) and, correspondingly, by a more or less high degree of inertia of technological accumulation processes. In these systems, the dynamics of innovation is weak or absent. One can speak of either economic lag (referring to socio-economic systems characterized by some degree of internalization of the market culture) or underdevelopment (referring to socio-economic systems that diverge from systems that express a generalized market culture).» IT
17/33«Both the R&D-related positive externalities (even in case of high degrees of internalization of the innovative-market culture) and the low degrees of internalization of the innovative-market culture (and hence the almost total absence of R&D-related positive externalities) do bring about imbalances in the innovation process. On the one end, they result in a reduction in the system competitiveness and gaps in the economic growth processes; on the other, they result in a persistent static situation of the system and the consequent impossibility of starting a development process.
In either case, albeit in different ways, public measures and interventions are necessary to govern and strengthen the dynamics of innovation in relation to development and economic growth. These interventions must be specified in analytical guidelines, corresponding to the types of constraints that limit the dynamics of innovation. These constraints differ between the innovative market of advanced industrialized areas (characterized by both market culture and innovation culture) and the non-innovative market of the underdeveloped or developing areas (lacking both a market culture and an innovation culture).» IT
18/33«The fixed social capital consists of territorial infrastructures, organized into networks, which have a continuous presence throughout the environmental context (transport, communications, pipes), and punctual infrastructure (equipment, facilities). Punctual infrastructures can have multiple objectives, all qualified as service objectives. The latter can be divided into two subsets:
1) one set is characterized by those services satisfying interests related to the current state of the socio-economic context. Here, the service is part of the structural schema of social needs and is not strictly oriented towards socio-economic development;
2) the other set is characterized by those services satisfying interests related to the future state of the socio-economic context and is strictly oriented towards development. Here, the service marks the transition from a current state to a future state and is part of an evolutionary schema of social needs. It also brings about spillovers (positive externalities) directly affecting the development and economic-growth processes, either through the market or by boosting market culture and innovation culture.» IT
19/33«Insofar as it can be defined as a punctual infrastructure characterized by development objectives, a science park activity can focus on two social factors strictly related to the development and economic growth:
1) the technological factor considered as endogenous production of technological innovation (susceptible to transformation into physical capital and corresponding human capital) and consequent dissemination of the innovative technologies implemented;
2) the cultural factor considered as endogenous production of an innovation culture and market culture (susceptible to transformation into organizational and entrepreneurial human capital referring to all possible social roles) and consequent spread of the culture of the innovative market through the generalization (to the whole social group) of socially shared positive attitudes (and behaviors) towards innovation, competitive market, and active entrepreneurship.» IT
20/33«As an expression of the needs typical of highly industrialized societies, science parks presuppose a culture strictly compatible with the competitive market, a dynamic production system, a high innovation potentiality, innovative research centers and high-tech companies, universities actively interacting with the business community, and skilled workforce. Their primary objective is to maximize the social rate of return on innovation related to R&D activities carried out within the business environment and the ensuing spillover. Indeed, even though these activities bring about positive external economies for the whole socio-economic context in which the firms operate, they tend not to adapt to the socially desirable level, as innovative firms measure their R&D investments against their private (market) rate of return, which is generally lower than the social rate of return.» IT
21/33«The effectiveness of public interventions to correct those market anomalies resulting in under-dimensioned R&D activities depends on the type of external economies (spillovers), the relation between private returns and social returns on innovation, and the relation between private resources and public resources in terms of the possible crowding-out effects.
These aspects have been analyzed by A. B. Jaffe (Economic analysis of research spillover: implication for the advanced technology program, ATP’s Economic Assessment Office, 1996).» IT
22/33«The social rate of return on public spending differs from the social rate of return on R&D. The latter is indeed a function of the level of investment in R&D and the type of funded research activity (and the consequent spillover effect), but it does not depend on the crowding-out effect (i.e., on the makeup of the investment in terms of private and public resources). [...]
Therefore, public investment choices about R&D activities (including those carried out as part of the actions implemented by science parks) should be based on the identification of those factors making the social rate of return and the private rate of return diverge and should favor R&D activities with the greatest spillover effect.» IT
23/33«Public intervention in the field of R&D must be characterized by a relation of complementarity with the market (not a relation of substitutability). That is because it should aim at restoring the more basic research activities, i.e., the pre-competitive level of research resulting in higher induced social benefits. [...]
In short, the partnership between public and private investments oriented toward innovative technological research (or whichever relation between research institutions and private companies) finds in the market, and in the positive externalities (spillover) it brings about, an indispensable space for their enlargement and dissemination. Where such effects are not achieved, public investments become welfarist constraints slowing down and obstructing development and growth processes, rather than accelerating and promoting them.» IT
24/33«In developing socio-economic systems, the maximization of the social rate of return on innovation cannot be directly pursued, in principle, because there is no competitive market in these areas that may lead to the dissemination of the benefits from innovation. Therefore, it is not possible to talk about a private rate of return on R&D investments, nor about a spillover effect, and no economic-growth process strictly consistent with the optimal use of the given resources can take place.» IT
25/33«One cannot think of technological research (and, more generally, of technical progress and public R&D investments) as a variable that alone can change attitudes towards the innovative market, turning them from negative to positive. Indeed, research processes, which are perforce localized and sector-based because of the scarcity of public resources, cannot activate the technological continuum underlying development when the preconditions for development are lacking, namely, if the innovative enterprise culture is not internalized and generalized. Only then do the innovation processes occur in every segment, however analytical, of the technological operational chains at all levels, from research to final production, referring to both physical technologies (process and product innovations) and organizational technologies (social innovation).» IT
26/33«In the analyses of economic processes from an evolutionary perspective, the enterprise is considered to be a place where knowledge accumulates, whose development is influenced by the original technological matrix and the set of routines implemented to coordinate the activities. Throughout its evolution, an enterprise produces knowledge and innovative opportunities beyond those workable internally due to the stringency of routines or incompatibility constraints with preexisting activities. It is possible to take advantage of these overabundant innovations only by incorporating them into a new enterprise.» IT
27/33«To pursue the objective of favoring the convergence between innovative technological research (and the public or private institutes carrying out it) and local enterprises, orienting both the former and the latter towards development and economic growth extended to the entire system, it is necessary to consider and make compatible not only the production factors of the innovative physical capital but also the production factors of the innovative human capital. The innovation dynamics, in fact, directly relates both to the dynamics of physical capital and to the dynamics of human capital.
These dynamics, which follow different paths and are rooted in R&D activities as to physical capital and training activities as to human capital, should find in the system of enterprises operating in a particular socio-economic context a congruence point compatible with development and economic growth processes.» IT
28/33«Carrying out innovative processes (which are, moreover, also sector-based and stand-alone) or technology-oriented specialist training does not entail any change in the negative attitudes towards innovation that may be present in the social context. It is one thing to put in place operational intervention to realize innovation; another is to put in place operational measures to change social attitudes towards innovation. Still another thing is to identify the relations between these different types of operations to make their implementation more effective, always considering that innovation-based development logically presupposes a high degree of innovation generalized in the social context.» IT
29/33«Like R&D investments, also investment in training brings about positive externalities, which means the social rate of return on training activity is higher than its private rate of return (that is, the benefits for the direct enjoyers of the training, be they individuals or enterprises, who bear the related costs). Indeed, training activities carried out by enterprises operating in the market benefit not only those enterprises that bear the cost of training; they also benefit both the workers who are trained and the other enterprises as the supply of skilled labor increases. From the enterprise’s viewpoint, investing in training is moreover risky, as trained workers could leave the enterprise; the greater the usability of professional qualifications in the labor market and the smaller the size of the enterprise, the greater the risk.» IT
30/33«An enterprise tends not to carry out training or to carry out only very specialized training (strictly connected to specific products and production processes); it excludes basic training because of its greater generality, from which higher social rates of return directly follow (as with basic and pre-competitive research). The lower (i.e., more specialized) the training level, the lower the social rate of return on training activity and, hence, the positive externalities (spillover) it brings about, namely its induced social benefits.
For this reason, public intervention is necessary to modify the market allocation of resources in training in a way consistent with the socially desirable level. In the absence of public intervention, training activities carried out within the market would bring social benefits far below the socially desirable level in relation to the activation of innovation processes (and to the social benefits of disseminating innovation throughout the market) and, hence, to the activation of processes of development, economic growth and competitiveness within the socio-economic context in which the training takes place.» IT
31/33«Furthermore, should training activities only be managed from a private market perspective, the possibility of accessing training would depend on the spending capacity of individuals and groups. Because of income discrimination, knowledge resources not uniformly distributed would thus be produced, which would alter the principle of increasing marginal returns of new knowledge. Therefore, to allow for a private training market accessible only to certain income classes, it is necessary to have concurrently training activities supported by public intervention policies, which enable merit-based transmission of knowledge to all income classes.» IT
32/33«In developing areas, the need to provide public incentives for training is even more pressing. As a matter of fact, in the absence of an innovative competitive market, there is not even a network of companies expressing a demand for high-level professionals, to which a corresponding private training system could refer. An offer of high-level training services, managed privately on the market and based on income discrimination, cannot be congruent, by definition, with a demand for medium or low-level professionals. In such a case, training activity would produce positive externalities within socio-economic systems exogenous to the system where training occurs; within the latter, only private benefits would be produced. The induced social benefits would all fall back on developed areas, thereby increasing the training gap (human capital endowment) between the two types of socio-economic systems.» IT
33/33«In socio-economic contexts devoid of widespread industrialization, generalized R&D activities among enterprises, a qualified workforce, universities able to interact actively with the business community, and a generalized propensity to innovation and entrepreneurship, the production system is or tends to be static (with no innovation continuum), the research centers operate merely by transferring knowledge (since their propensity to innovation depends on the degree of generalized innovation existing in the system, which in this case is so low as to strengthen repetitious research activities), the culture is ultimately stationary and familistic and the conflict levels prevent collaborative relations (network externalities) functional to innovation processes. Given this kind of socio-economic context, pretending to pursue the maximization of the social rate of return on innovation without considering targets for activating pre-conditions for development would mean relating that objective to a hypothetical reference context (the industrialized market and it innovation dynamics) not existing at all.» IT