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Professor Carlota Perez

perez-c-113x148Professor of Technology and Development
Department of International Development


Previously a Visiting Fellow at LSE, in October 2013 Carlota Perez was appointed LSE Centennial Professor, bringing to the Department her expertise in the area of technical change and development. She is best known for her book Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: the Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages (Elgar 2002), which put forward her theory of the role of finance in the diffusion of technological revolutions. Her professional career is one that has combined academic research and teaching with civil service and consultancy: Professor Perez is currently Honorary Professorial Fellow at SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), University of Sussex and Professor of Technology and Development at the Ragnar Nurkse Institute, Technological University of Tallinn (TUT), Estonia. She is also a consultant for several governments and global corporations, and in 2015 is Chair of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Expert Group for Green Growth and Jobs.

In the late 1970s, in her country of origin, Venezuela, she conducted research at the Central University on the structural causes of the energy crisis. After a stint as member of a think-tank on international technology transfer at the Institute of Foreign Trade, she became the founding Director of Technological Development at the Ministry of Industry, where, alongside other policy instruments to promote innovation, she created the first venture capital fund in the country. In the late 1980s and early 1990s. While doing part-time research at the University of Sussex, she acted as consultant for several Latin American governments and for UNIDO, CEPAL, the Andean Pact, the World Bank, the OECD and others. Subsequently she was advisor to INTEVEP, the R&D and technology arm of PDVSA, the national oil company in Venezuela. Since the publication of her book in the early 2000s she has been frequently invited to give keynote speeches and to do consultancy work for global corporations (IBM, Cisco, Telefonica, Mondragon, Ericsson, Sogeti, ING bank, etc.) and to speak at major business and public events in Europe, the USA and Asia.

Professor Perez received her License in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (with Economics and Technology at the core) from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Paris VII, and her MA from San Francisco State University, where she developed the first formulation of her theory of technological revolutions and changing opportunities for development. Since working at the Central University of Venezuela, she has nurtured research links with several European universities. Her current position as honorary professorial fellow at SPRU started with a research fellowship in 1983, when she began a long-term collaboration with Professor Chris Freeman. She was affiliated to the Judge Business School and Cambridge Finance from 2002 until 2014 and has been teaching a post-graduate course at the Tallinn University of Technology since 2007.

Areas of interest and research:

  • The impact of technical change and technological revolutions on society, business and the national and international economies
  • Technological revolutions and techno-economic paradigm shifts
  • The roles of finance, markets and governments in promoting and propagating innovation
  • The diffusion of technological revolutions and the changing windows of opportunity for developing countries
  • Sustainability --"green growth"-- and its potential to serve as a driver of innovation,  development and economic revival
  • Conditions for natural resource-based innovation and development strategies
  • Technology and the potential for overcoming inequality

Main publications: Journal articles

  • 2015 “Natural Resource Industries as a Platform for the Development of Knowledge Intensive Industries”, with A. Marin and L. Navas-Aleman in Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie (Journal of Economic and Social Geography), Vol. 106, No. 2, 154–168
  • 2013 “Unleashing a golden age after the financial collapse: Drawing lessons from history”, in Environmental Innovations and Societal Transitions, Vol. 80, No. 1, pp. 11–23
  • 2010 “Technological revolutions and techno-economic paradigms”, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 185-202
  • 2010 “Technological dynamism and social inclusion in Latin America: CEPAL Review, No. 100, pp. 121-141. Original Spanish “Dinamismo tecnológico e inclusión social en América Latina: una estrategia de desarrollo productivo basada en los recursos naturales” Revista CEPAL No. 100 (April), pp. 123-145.
  • 2009 “La Otra Globalización: los Retos del Colapso Financiero.” [The other Globalisation: the Challenges of the Financial Collapse] Problemas del Desarrollo: Revista Latinoamericana de Economía, (UNAM-México) Vol. 40, No. 157, pp. 11-37
  • 2009 “The Double Bubble at the Turn of the Century: Technological Roots and Structural Implications”, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 779-805
  • 2001 "Technological change and opportunities for development as a moving target", Cepal Review, No. 75, December, pp. 109-130
  • 2000 "Change of paradigm in Science and Technology Policy", Cooperation South, TCDC-UNDP, No. 1-2000, pp. 43-48
  • 1986 "Las Nuevas Tecnologías: Una Visión De Conjunto", in Estudios Internacionales, Año XIX, Oct.-Dic. 1986, No.76, Santiago de Chile, pp.420-459.
  • 1985 "Microelectronics, Long Waves and Technical Change: New Perspectives for Developing Countries”, World Development, Vol. 13, Nº 3, pp. 441-463
  • 1983 "Structural change and assimilation of new technologies in the economic and social systems, Futures, Vol. 15, Nº 4, October, pp. 357-375 and 1985, in Italian translation, in P. Bisogno ed., Paradigmi Tecnologici: Saggi Sull Economia del Progresso Tecnico, Prometheus No. 2, , Milan, pp. 155-186. Reprinted in C. Freeman, ed. The Long Wave in the World Economy, International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, Edward Elgar, Aldershot, 1996.

Main publications: Books and book chapters

  • 2015 forthcoming "Innovation as Growth Policy: The challenge for Europe" with Mazzucato, M., in Fagerberg, J., S. Laestadius and B. Martin (eds.) The Triple Challenge:  Europe in a New Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Ch. 9, 227-262; previously published as SPRU Working Paper No. 13-2014, July 2014
  • 2014 "The possible dynamic role of natural resource-based networks in Latin American development strategies". with Marin and Navas-Aleman in Dutrénit and Sutz (eds.) National Innovation Systems, Social Inclusion and Development: The Latin American Experience, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
  • 2014 "A New Age of Technological Progress" in Umunna, C. (ed) Owning the Future, London: Policy Network
  • 2013  “Innovation systems and policy for development in a changing world”, in E, S, Andersen, J. Fagerberg and B. Martin (eds.) The Future of Innovation Studies, Oxford: Oxford University Press development in a changing world”, in E, S, Andersen, J. Fagerberg and B. Martin (eds.) Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • 2013 “Financial bubbles, crises and the role of government in unleashing Golden Ages" in Pyka, A. and Burghof, H.P. (eds.) Innovation and Finance. London: Routledge, pp. 11 -25
  • 2007 "Finance and technical change: A long-term view" in H. Hanusch and A. Pyka, eds., The Elgar Companion to Neo-Schumpeterian Economics, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
  • 2006 “Respecialisation and the deployment of the ICT paradigm: An essay on the present challenges of globalisation” in Compano et al. eds., The Future of the Information Society in Europe, Technical Report EUR22353EN, IPTS, Joint Research Centre, Directorate General, European Commission, pp. 27-56.
  • 2002 Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, U.K. (Paperback 2003, Spanish version Siglo XXI 2004, South Korean edition, IBM, 2006, Chinese edition Renmin University 2007; Russian edition, Delo, 2011)
  • 1992 "New technological model and higher education: A view from the changing world of work", in Gustavo Lopez Ospina ed., Challenges and Options: Specific proposals, CRESALC/UNESCO, pp. 121-145.
  • 1988 "Structural Crises of Adjustment, Business Cycles and Investment Behaviour" (with C. Freeman), in G.Dosi et al. eds. Technical Change and Economic Theory, Francis Pinter, London, pp. 38-66. Reprinted in H. Hanusch ed. The Economic Legacy of Joseph Schumpeter, Elgar, London, 1998
  • 1988 "Catching Up in Technology: entry Barriers and Windows of Opportunity", (with L. Soete), in Dosi et al eds. Technical Change and Economic Theory, Francis Pinter, London, pp. 458-479.
  • 1986 "New Technologies and Development", in Freeman and Lundvall eds. Small Countries facing The Technological Revolution, Francis Pinter, London, UK, pp. 85-97 and 1989, in Italian, as "Nuove tecnologie e sviluppo", en Eugenio Bennedetti ed., Mutazioni tecnologiche e condizionamenti internazionali. FrancoAngeli, Milan, pp. 71-89. Reproduced in L. Mytelka, ed (2007). Innovation and Economic Development, volume 213 in The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics Series, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, Part I, chapter 2.

Contact details

Room:      3-04, 50 Lincoln’s Inn Fields  
Email:       c.perez@lse.ac.uk
Website:   www.carlotaperez.org