Public intervention to support knowledge generation is recognized as a fundamental strategy that enables the closing the gap between latecomers and forerunners economies. Evaluations and academic studies have been conducted on a wide variety of interventions and rapidly expanded what is known about these policies instruments. However, much of the evidence report conflicting results and can lead to misunderstandings about the potential of these interventions. This article offers a systematic review and a critical discussion of what the literature has to say about the effectiveness of these instruments. It is argued that learning about the effectiveness of interventions requires a capacity to seize and interpret its effects. Specifically, two critical factors are emphasized to understand the potential of these policies, which are their sequence of implementation and the context-dependence of interventions. Since none of these issues has been investigated in-depth, some aspects are discussed to guide future evaluations.
Catch-up; Evaluation; Policy instruments; Knowledge