DP3804 From Natural Resources to High-tech Production: The Evolution of Industrial Competitiveness in Sweden and Finland

Author(s): Magnus Blomström, Ari Kokko
Publication Date: February 2003
Keyword(s): industrial policy, industrialization
JEL(s): O14
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=3804

This Paper describes and analyses the evolution of industrial competitiveness in Sweden and Finland in a long-term perspective. One part of the Paper 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. Another part narrows the focus and examines the emergence of Finnish Nokia and Swedish Ericsson as market leaders in the high-tech mobile telecommunications industry. The emphasis here is on the transformation of Nokia from a producer of simple raw material based goods to a knowledge-based high-tech company. A conclusion from this Paper is that an industry?s success is a mix of systematic knowledge creation and random technological innovation. The experiences from Sweden and Finland suggest in particular 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.