Labour market institutions and learning economy in Central America. (SDT 003-2009)
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The increasing pressure for firms and countries to innovate in order to remain competitive comes from many different forces. In the case of Central America, one important factor has been the movement towards a more open economy, and therefore greater competition. The capacity to find niches or increase competitive ability may be improved with higher levels of innovation, reached by means of more capabilities and knowledge, and by interiorising and building on this knowledge base. This movement towards a learning economy can be seen as desirable for Central America and as a new model that could go beyond mere export-promotion. However, this reorientation towards a learning economy does not occur haphazardly; it must be promoted actively. The core of the discussion is centred here on the question of how much labour market institutions support the development of a learning economy in the Central American countries. Furthermore, it reflects on the inter-linkages existing between labour market institutions and learning capability building.