Skills and the formation of global innovation networks: a balancing act
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In seeking to understand the linkages between skill development and the formation of global innovation networks (GINs), we develop an analytical framework that incorporates concepts of dynamic upgrading with the distinction between centripetal and centrifugal forces that act to expand or contract these networks. Using a multiple case-study analysis methodology, we find that on the whole innovation follows skills, which act as a centrifugal force distributing innovation around the globe. Our cases also reveal that this general pattern overlays many other influential factors at the macro, meso, and micro levels, including factors related to skill availability, market characteristics, sectoral characteristics, policy contexts, and microlevel determinants. While these factors are influential, in principle, in shaping GINs, within each individual network, there is a unique and complex interaction between particular sets of forces.