Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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European Instiute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics EIJS Working Papers Series

No 139:
From Natural Resources to High-Tech Production: The Evolution of Industrial Competitiveness in Sweden and Finland

Magnus Blomström () and Ari Kokko ()

Abstract: This paper analyzes the evolution of industrial competitiveness in Sweden and Finland in a long-term perspective. The first part looks at the foundations for industrial take-off in Sweden, with some focus on the development of institutions for the creation and dissemination of the skills and knowledge needed in the emerging industrial sector. The second part examines the development of the Swedish forest industry until the early 1990s, with particular emphasis on the factors allowing the industry to remain competitive for more than one century. The third and final part discusses the emergence of Nokia and Ericsson as market leaders in the high-tech mobile telecommunications industry. Summarizing the conclusions, we stress the role of efficient institutional solutions for the acquisition and development of technology, as well as the importance of an outward oriented trade regime. The experiences discussed in the report also suggest that public policy should provide an appropriate institutional framework to facilitate the sustainable use of land, raw materials, and other resources and promote learning and internationalization.

Keywords: industrialization; technical change; internationalization; forest industries; telecommunications; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: F13; L63; L73; O14; O30; (follow links to similar papers)

73 pages, January 1, 2002

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This paper is published as:
Blomström, Magnus and Ari Kokko, (2007), 'From Natural Resources to High-Tech Production: The Evolution of Industrial Competitiveness in Sweden and Finland' in Lederman, D. and W.F. Maloney (eds.) Natural Resources: Neither Curse nor Destiny, pages 213-256, Stanford University Press and The World Bank, Washington, DC.

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