Title: Innovation policies institutions and performance: why Malaysia overtook Nigeria in the oil palm industry

Authors: Boladale O. Abiola Adebowale

Addresses: National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), Obafemi Awolowo University, PMB 012, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Abstract: Forty years ago, Nigeria and Malaysia had comparative GDP per capita; Nigeria was the leading oil palm producer and exporter in the world. Within a decade, Malaysia overtook Nigeria both as producer and exporter. This paper provides a comparative perspective of the evolution of institutions and policies contrasting Nigeria and Malaysia over a relatively long period. The aim is to understand, based on the evidence, how and why Malaysia performed so well and Nigeria did not thereby exploring the systemic, remote and immediate causes of the different evolutionary trajectories of the two countries with very similar geographical characteristics. The data for this paper came from a variety of methods including secondary and primary survey as well as face to face interviews. The paper concludes that differential institutions, policies and investment efforts explain much of the catch-up story of the oil palm sectors in the two countries.

Keywords: innovation policies; industry performance; differential institutions; economic catch-up; investment; Malaysia; Nigeria; oil palm industry; GDP; gross domestic product; institutional evolution; systemic causes; remote causes; immediate causes; evolutionary trajectories; geographical characteristics; technological learning; technological innovation; technological development; development policies; R&D; research and development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTLID.2012.044880

International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 2012 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.126 - 157

Published online: 13 Jan 2012 *

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