September 24, 2009
This work is devoted to an analysis of the innovation-performance relationship in contemporary developed economies. It reveals a double « gap » relating to innovation and performance. The « innovation gap » reflects the difference between the reality of innovation produced in an economy and what traditional innovation indicators (R&D, patents) capture. As for the « performance gap », this measures the difference between the reality of performance in an economy and the performance assessed by traditional economic tools (mainly productivity and growth). It reflects a hidden performance, invisible to these tools. These two « gaps » blur the innovation-performance relationship. They are behind a certain number of paradoxes which this work intends to explain, and they lead one to question the legitimacy of some public policies which support innovation.