Promoting Silicon Valleys in Latin America

Lessons from Costa Rica

By Luciano Ciravegna

© 2012 – Routledge

176 pages

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Paperback: 9781138792128
pub: 2014-07-17
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Hardback: 9780415685740
pub: 2012-03-13
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

The spectacular economic performance of China, East Asia and India during the last ten years has ignited some profound changes in the world economy. The share of global demand, investments, trade and production of the traditional industrialized powers, the US, Europe and Japan, has gradually yet continuously declined. This rise of China also has implications for Latin America. On the one hand, booming Chinese demand for raw materials and food has sustained the economic performance of Latin America during the last decade. On the other hand, the competitiveness of China and as a hub for advanced manufacturing is threatening Latin America’s attempt to diversify its economy from its dependence on the export of natural resource-based goods.

Most Latin American countries are not however waiting passively for their economies to become ever more reliant on high prices for food, minerals and oil. Leveraging the economic and political stability that they achieved during the last decades, many countries in the region, such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay, are attempting to capture the growing market for knowledge intensive products and services by breeding their own Silicon Valleys.

This book discusses the promotion of ICT clusters in Latin America by analyzing the development of the Costa Rican cluster in particular, an often celebrated case of successful policy in the region. Costa Rica, a small country traditionally known for its coffee and wildlife, managed to build an information technology cluster within ten years, becoming the leading producer of ICT per capita in Latin America. Studying the Costa Rican case provides a solid starting point for understanding the challenges of building ICT clusters in Latin America.


'Promoting Silicon Valley in Latin America leverages an impressive wealth of information to examine Costa Rica’s success in developing one of the most advanced high technology clusters in Latin America. The book provides interesting insights for scholars of competitiveness and international competition, and offers practical lessons for all of the Latin American countries that are trying to promote the creation of technology-based clusters within their borders.'

Arturo Condo, INCAE Business School and Harvard Business School.

'Luciano Ciravegna’s book is a major contribution to our understanding of clusters, social networks, and industrial development in Latin America. His insights – supported by extensive field research – will be invaluable to policymakers as well as scholars.'

Roy Nelson, Thunderbird School of Global Management

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Searching for Sustainable Development Models in Latin America 2. Theoretical Background 3. Building ICT Clusters in Latin America: The Costa Rican Experience 4. From Foreign Direct Investment to Multinational Corporations' Networks with Local Firms 5. Financial Networks: Investors Networks in the Costa Rican Cluster 6. Networks of Costa Rican ICT Producers: Local Rivalries in a Small Market 7. Innovation Networks: Linking Academia and the Private Sector 8. Local Companies' Networks with Firms Located Abroad: Building Transnational Social Ties 9. Conclusion

About the Author

Luciano Ciravegna is Lecturer in Strategy and International Business, Royal Holloway School of Management, University of London, Visiting Professor, INCAE Business School, Costa Rica and Visiting Fellow, The London School of Economics

About the Series

Regions and Cities

In today’s globalised, knowledge-driven and networked world, regions and cities have assumed heightened significance as the interconnected nodes of economic, social and cultural production, and as sites of new modes of economic governance and policy experimentation. This book series brings together incisive and critically engaged international and interdisciplinary research on this resurgence of regions and cities, and should be of interest to geographers, economists, sociologists, political scientists and cultural scholars, as well as to policy-makers involved in regional and urban development.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Business Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development