Development and the ending of mass poverty require a massive increase in productive capabilities and production in developing countries. Some countries, notably in Asia, are achieving this. Yet ‘pro-poor’ aid policies, especially for the least developed countries, operate largely without reference to policy thinking on the promotion of innovation for productivity growth. Conversely, policy-makers and researchers on innovation and industrial policies tend to know little about the potential for social protection to support innovation and productivity improvement. This book aims to focus attention on this gulf between research on innovation and on poverty reduction and to identify some of its policy consequences; to set out some ways in which this gulf can be bridged, analytically and empirically; and to contribute to the creation of an agenda for further research and an understanding of the urgency of the implied rethinking.
The first two chapters provide sustained arguments for embedding social policy thinking in much more ‘productivist’ frameworks of thought that focus on raising productivity and employment; and for identifying growth theories that can incorporate satisfactory understandings of innovation and employment upgrading. A set of chapters then tackle these broad themes in the context of health, addressing the interlinked issues of innovation, health inequity and associated impoverishment. The final set of chapters examines the challenge of creating industrial policies that generate both innovation and employment, using and going beyond concepts of systems of innovation.