What kinds of countries have better innovation performance?–A country-level fsQCA and NCA study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Innovation is critical to boosting economic growth and combating social problems. Based on national innovation systems, this study investigates how combinations of multiple factors (i.e., R&D investment, human capital, social freedom, democracy, globalization, and country affluence) lead to high national innovation performance. This study adopts fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to explore multiple conjunctural causations of innovation performance using a multi-source dataset of 116 countries. It identifies two configurations for high innovation performance: leveraging human capital and leveraging R&D investment. It also adopts a necessary condition analysis (NCA) to examine the necessary relationships between every condition and the outcome. NCA finds that R&D investment, globalization, and country affluence are necessary conditions for innovation performance, although they have different degrees of importance. This study advances the knowledge on national innovation performance and demonstrates how NCA can add complementary insights to the findings of fsQCA.