Many of my journal articles and book-chapters are also available as working papers. If you do not have access to the published versions this may be a good place to look. Below some examples of what you can find there. The list also contains some unpublished work. You can also press the photo to access my website at Repec, where most of my articles and working papers are available for download.

Jan's Repec homepage

Working Paper


This paper analyses the ongoing global green shift from an evolutionary (Schumpeterian) perspective. Understanding such large techno-economic shifts, their causes, dynamics, and implications, has been a recurrent theme in evolutionary economics, from Schumpeter onwards. Following this perspective, what primarily characterizes large techno-economic shifts is that the radical changes they entail concern not just one but a whole range of industries and sectors, including ways of life, the organization of work, and infrastructure.  The paper argues that the global green shift, currently unfolding, is a techno-economic shift of a similar (or even larger) magnitude as the earlier shifts. The analysis shows that the green shift is driven by interaction of innovations in three interrelated areas, that is, renewable energy innovation; innovation in energy-using sectors; and energy infrastructure innovation, e.g., energy storage and distribution. A number of key innovations from these three areas are identified and their development and spread during the last hundred years or so explored. Particular attention is given to the various factors, including policy, that have influenced these processes. Finally, the lessons for policymaking supporting the global green shift are considered.


Transforming the economy to a state consistent with net-zero emissions is a very demanding task. Extensive change, i.e., innovation, in the way energy is provided, distributed, and used across all parts of society will be required. An important question, discussed in this paper, is how policy – and particularly innovation policy – can contribute to mobilize innovation for this purpose.  It is concluded that for policy to succeed in its aims, two elements are essential, (1) a broadly supported vision or strategy for change, exploiting the opportunities offered by the global green shift, and (2) a set of projects – or missions – aimed at addressing specific challenges of relevance for the countries in question. However, for such projects or missions to be successful, relevant stakeholders – also outside national boarders – may need to be included, challenging received innovation policy governance.

This paper addresses the role of innovation policy, including regulation, in the transition to a society characterized by net zero emissions of climate gasses. A broad range of policy-actors, notably the European Union, have already publicly embraced this goal. Nevertheless, transforming the society to a state consistent with the net-zero objective is a very demanding task, and to succeed in this endeavour extensive change – including a lot of innovation – in the way energy is provided, distributed and used across all parts of society will be needed. A crucial question, therefore, is how policy – and particularly innovation policy – can contribute to mobilize innovation for this purpose. This paper critically examines the extant literature on the subject, and discusses examples of transformational change from policy practice, including onshore wind and solar in Denmark and Germany; offshore wind in the UK, Denmark and Norway; and the emerging quest for zero-emission ships.

What determines the differences in economic performance across European regions? In addressing this question, this paper takes inspiration from two different approaches. One approach highlights the role of capability-building, of a technological or social nature, while another perspective emphasizes the potential advantages of proximity and, hence, a relatively diversified economic structure, for regional economic performance. Using information for 261 regions at NUTS2 level in 27 European countries in the 2000s, novel data sources are exploited to construct measures of technological and social capabilities, which are combined with indicators of related and unrelated variety in the analysis of regional economic dynamics. The results suggest that capability-building play a key role in regional economic development while the results for diversification are more mixed. A revised version was published in the Journal of Technology Transfer in 2022.


This paper focuses on the role of demand-oriented innovation policies in supporting the global green shift. Three specific cases, all from Europe, in which change has been very quick indeed, are considered: Wind energy in Denmark, the German Energiewende and electrical cars in Norway. The emphasis is particularly on the nature of the policies that were adopted, how they came about, and their impacts on a national as well as global scale. It is shown that demand-oriented innovation policies played a decisive role in all three cases and contributed to encourage (green) innovation, create new jobs and significantly speed up the transition. Moreover, these policies had very important global repercussions.

This paper draws on insights from evolutionary economics to enrich our understanding of the prospects for development in low-income countries. Drawing on analysis by Freeman and Perez (1988) on changes in techno-economic paradigms, the paper argues that the current process of digitalization, in combination with developments in renewable energy, are providing a ‘window of opportunity’ for accelerated economic growth and catch-up in low-income countries. The argument is illustrated by evidence from of Kenya and Rwanda.

Technological revolutions, i.e., clusters of technologies that collectively have a transformational impact on the global economy, are rare events that dramatically influence the opportunities facing countries at different levels of development. A central suggestion in the literature is that countries that manage to adopt the new technologies associated with a specific technological revolution benefit economically from it. This is also assumed to go together with a changing specialisation pattern in international trade. The paper considers the empirical merits of these suggestions, drawing on GDP and trade data for a large number of countries on different levels of development from the post-second-world-war period. A revised version was published in 2021 in L. Alcorta, N. Foster-McGregor, B. Verspagen, and A. Szirmai (eds.) New Perspectives on Structural Change: Causes and Consequences of Structural Change in the Global Economy, Oxford University Press, pp. 131-155.

Grand societal challenges, such as global warming, can only be adequately dealt with through wide-ranging changes in technology, production and consumption, and ways of life, that is, through innovation. Furthermore, change will involve a variety of sectors or parts of the economy and society, and these change processes must be sufficiently consistent in order to achieve the desired results. This poses huge challenges for policy-making. In this paper we focus on implications for the governance of innovation policy, i.e., policies influencing a country’s innovation performance. Based on a systemic understanding of innovation and the factors shaping it, the paper highlights the need for effective coordination of policies influencing innovation and what changes in innovation policy governance this may require. To throw further light on how this may be realised the paper discusses evidence on national innovation policy practice, from Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, respectively. A revised version was published in 2020 in Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade 20 (2), 279–305.

The topics addressed in this paper concern the (much-needed) transition to sustainability, the structural changes it entails and what role (innovation) policy can play in speeding up such changes. The paper starts by distilling some important insights on innovation from the accumulated research on this topic, and, with this in mind, discusses various policy approaches that have been suggested for influencing innovation and sustainability transitions. To allow for a more in-depth discussion the paper then goes into more detail about three cases in which policy arguably had a large impact, namely renewable energy in Denmark and Germany and electric cars in Norway. The final part of the paper sums up the discussion about the role of (innovation) policies in sustainability transitions.

This paper deals with the role of global value chains (GVC) and other aspects of “openness” for economic development. To analyse the issue a comprehensive framework that allows for the inclusion of a range of relevant factors including not only different form of openness, such as GVC participation, but also technological and social capabilities, is developed. The analysis is based on evidence from 125 countries, including many developing nations, over the period 1997-2013. It is shown that economic growth reflects the strength of the national innovation system and that GVC participation is not the potent driver of economic growth that tends to be assumed. A revised version was published in 2018 in The European Journal of Development Research 30 (3), 533-556.

During the last two-three decades policy-makers have increasingly became concerned about the role of innovation for economic performance and, more recently, for the solution of challenges that arise (such as the climate challenge). The view that policy may have a role in supporting for innovation has become widespread, and the term innovation policy has become commonly used. This paper takes stock of this rapidly growing area of public policy, with particular focus on the definition of innovation policy (what it is); theoretical rationales (why innovation policy is needed); and how innovation policy is designed, implemented and governed. Published as Edler, J. & J. Fagerberg. (2017). Innovation Policy: What, Why & How, Oxford Review of Economic Policy 33 (1), 2-23.

This paper is concerned with the explanation of differences in regional economic performance. Based on an assessment of relevant theoretical and applied work two central factors for regional economic performance are identified: capability building and specialization. The paper uses data that have recently become available for European regions to explore the relationships between these factors and economic performance. The analysis shows that regional economic performance and capability building do indeed go hand in hand, while the evidence regarding the impact of specialization is more mixed. The implications of these findings for regional policy are also considered. Published in 2017 in Robert Huggins and Piers Thompson (eds.)  Handbook of Regions and Competitiveness: Contemporary Theories and Perspectives on Economic Development. Edward Elgar Publishing, p. 117-135

Nordic policy makers have therefore for a long time experimented with various policy instruments supporting productivity growth. Over the years different labels have been attached to such policy experiments (science, technology, industry policy etc.), but more recently the term innovation policy has become more widely used. The paper provides an account of how innovation policies have evolved in three Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway and Finland) and considers possible lessons from what has been done. A revised version was published in Stato e mercato, Volume 36, number 1, 2016, April, p. 13-40,

The consequences of the financial crisis have been far from uniform across different parts of the global economy. This paper explores the reasons for that from a perspective that emphasizes differences across countries in technological development; in capacities to exploit the opportunities offered by technology; and in the ability to compete in international market. A formal model, based on this approach, is developed and applied to data for 100 countries in the period 1997-2012. A revised version was published in Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Volume 26, Issue 4, 2016, pp 765–784.


The term ‘innovation policy’ started to penetrate the policy discourse a few decades ago. This paper takes stock of what is learnt and considers what the challenges for theory and practice in this area are.

Europe is confronted by an intimidating triple challenge: economic stagnation, climate change, and a governance crisis. This paper demonstrates how the three challenges are closely inter-related, and discusses how they can be dealt with more effectively. The paper is based on a book: Fagerberg, J., S. Laestadius and B. R. Martin eds. (2015) The Triple Challenge for Europe: Economic Development, Climate Change and Governance, Oxford University Press.

This paper discusses the role of capabilities (social as well as technological) for competitiveness and economic growth, and presents recent empirical evidence on the matter for a group of 114 countries worldwide in the period 1995-2013.

This paper compares Europe’s growth performance to that of other parts of the world, and considers some popular but arguably erroneous explanations of the present crisis. Three European “archetypes”, characterized by different adaptability and performance, i.e., the North, the South and the East, are identified, and the consequences of globalization and European economic integration for the economic performance of these different country groups explored.

This paper contains a study on innovation performance and policies influencing it in four Nordic countries. It is a part of the NordMod2030 project commissioned by SAMAK and coordinated by FAFO.

My paper “Innovation: A Guide to the literature”, published as the first chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Innovation (2004), has been read by many. However, as a guide it is by now admittedly a bit out of date. This paper is an attempt to update and extend it, taking into account lessons from new research on the topic. A more elaborate discussion of innovation policy, including its theoretical underpinnings and what it may achieve, has also been added.

This paper, which draws on joint work with Martin Srholec, is based on a presentation at the Cournot Centre Conference, “The New International Division of Labour”, Paris, 12-13 November 2009. It was published as chapter 1 in Robert M Solow & Jean-Philippe Touffut (ed.), The Shape of the Division of Labour: Nations, Industries and Households. Edward Elgar Publishing, and is reproduced here with the permission of the publisher.

This paper reports results from a survey of research units in innovation studies and related fields. What furthers/hampers the development of such units? A revised version is published as Clausen, Tommy & Fagerberg, Jan & Gulbrandsen, Magnus, 2012. “Mobilizing for change: A study of research units in emerging scientific fields,” Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1249-1261.

From a special issue in honour of Bengt-Åke Lundvall. Published as Jan Fagerberg & Koson Sapprasert, 2011. “National innovation systems: the emergence of a new approach,” Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(9), pages 669-679, November.

This paper analyzes factors that shape the technological capabilities of individual U.S. states and European countries. The analysis demonstrates convergence in technological capabilities from 2000 to 2007, and that this process is conditioned by differences in social capabilities. A revised version was published as Fagerberg, J., Feldman, M. and Srholec, M. (2014) Technological Dynamics and Social Capability: US States and European Nations, Journal of Economic Geography, 14 (2), 313-337.

This paper focuses on Christopher Freeman’s role in the development of innovation studies. Published as Fagerberg, Jan & Fosaas, Morten & Bell, Martin & Martin, Ben R., 2011. “Christopher Freeman: social science entrepreneur,” Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 897-916, September.

What are the most important contributions to innovation studies? This paper explores this question based on an analysis of references in handbooks. A revised version is published as Fagerberg, Jan & Fosaas, Morten & Sapprasert, Koson, 2012. “Innovation: Exploring the knowledge base,”Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pp. 1132-1153.

This paper explores the possibility that technological capabilities, to lead to development, need to be accompanied by a broader set of “social capabilities”, reflecting not only the quality of governance but also the spread of values, beliefs and institutions that encourage members of society to actively contribute to the development process. A revised version is published as chapter 7 in Meerburger, Peter & Glückler, Johannes & el Meskioui, Martina, 2013, “Knowledge and the Economy”, Springer Verlag, pp. 113-137.

This is a survey of the literature on innovation and economic development. Published as Fagerberg, J., Srholec, M., & Verspagen, B. 2010. Innovation and Economic Development. In B., Hall, & N., Rosenberg (Eds.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation. Vol. II. North Holland, pp. 833-872.

This paper reports results from a web-based survey of more than one thousand scholars in the field of innovation studies. Published as Fagerberg, J. and Verspagen, B. 2009. Innovation studies – The emerging structure of a new scientific field, Research Policy, 38: 218-233

A revised version is published as Fagerberg, J. and Srholec, M. 2009. “Innovation Systems, Technology and Development: Unpacking the Relationship(s)”. In Lundvall, B.-A., Joseph, K.J., Chaminade, C. and Vang, J., eds., Handbook of Innovation Systems and Developing Countries. Building Domestic Capabilities in a Global Context, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, p. 83-115.

An empirical study of the impact of a well-developed innovation system and matching social capabilities for growth and development. A revised version is published as Fagerberg, J. and M. Srholec 2008. National innovation systems, capabilities and economic development, Research Policy, 37: 1417-1435.

Paper presented at the “Green roads to growth” conference, Environmental Assessment Institute, Copenhagen March 1-2, 2006, pp. 90-119.

This report was written as a background paper for UNIDO “Industrial Development Report” in 2005.

Paper presented at the TEARI final conference “Research, innovation and economic performance – What do we know and where are we heading?”, Brussels, Oct. 2004. A revised version is published as Fagerberg, J. 2006. What do we know about innovation and socio-economic change? Lessons from TEARI project, in Earl, L. and Gault, F. (eds.) National Innovation, Indicators and Policy, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2006, pp. 11-23 

A revised version appears in Hanusch, H. and A. Pyka (eds.) Elgar Companion to Neo-Schumpeterian Economics, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2007, pp. 705-718.

Paper prepared for presentation at the UNECE Spring Seminar, Competitiveness and Economic Growth in the ECE Region, Geneva, February 23, 2004.

Paper presented at the Workshop “The Many Guises of Innovations: What we have learnt and where we are heading”. Ottawa, October 23-24. 2003, organized by Statistics Canada. A revised version is published in Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D., and Nelson, R. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Innovation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004, chapter 20

Working paper version of the introductory chapter in “Oxford Hanfdbook of Innovation”. Presented at the Workshop “The Many Guises of Innovation: What we have learnt and where we are heading”. Ottawa, October 23-24,2003, organized by Statistics Canada. A revised version is published in Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D., and Nelson, R. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Innovation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004, chapter 1

TIK Working paper no. 17, Centre for technology, innovation and culture, Oslo. A revised and shortened version is published as Fagerberg, J. 2003. Schumpeter and the revival of evolutionary economics: an appraisal of the literature, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 13: 125-159

A revised version is published as Cappelen, A., F. Castellacci, J. Fagerberg and B. Verspagen, 2003. The Impact of Regional Support on Growth and Convergence in the European Union, Journal of Common Market Studies, 41 (4): 621-44.

A revised version is published as Fagerberg, J. and B. Verspagen 2002. Technology-gaps, innovation-diffusion and transformation: an evolutionary approach, Research Policy, 31: 1291-1304.

Paper presented at the Conference “Learning by Comparing – US and European Experiences on Innovation and Competence Building”, Lisbon, 21-23 June, 2001.

This paper summarizes some of the main arguments from the book The Economic Challenge for Europe: Adapting to Innovation-based Growth (Edward Elgar, 1999), edited by Jan Fagerberg, Paolo Guerrieri and Bart Verspagen. A revised version was published in Archibugi, D. and Lundvall, B.-Å. (eds.), The Globalizing Learning Economy, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 45-60