Growth Model for the Quadruple Helix Innovation Systems Conceptual Framework

  • Óscar Afonso
  • Sara Paulina De Oliveira Monteiro
  • Maria João Cabral Almeida Ribeiro Thompson
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Democracy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for Growth book series (DIG)


Innovation is today more than the result of technological research and development, and constitutes the main engine of growth in an increasing number of economies. According to the Quadruple Helix (QH) innovation theory, an innovation economy is based on four helices—Academia, Citizens, Firms and Government—and their interactions. We believe that the QH’s conceptualised relationship between these four helices and their joint impact on economic growth deserves to be conveyed and demonstrated mathematically. We develop a one-sector idea-based growth model with complementarities between intermediate goods and services, and productive public expenditure. With an idea-based growth model, we can identify innovation as the main source of economic growth. The one-sector structure is chosen so as to capture the QH concept that all economic agents are equally important in the innovation process. By assuming the existence of complementarities between intermediate goods and services, we intend to convey analytically the economic feature that we believe characterises an innovation economy, in which profit-seeking firms benefit from cooperation, collaboration and information sharing. We introduce public expenditure with the purpose of highlighting the government’s irreplaceable role in a growing innovation economy. We analyse the growth effects of an increase in productive public expenditures, which we find positive in the short, medium and long run.


Innovation Economy Productive Public Expenditures Quadruple Helix Economic Growth 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Óscar Afonso
    • 1
  • Sara Paulina De Oliveira Monteiro
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Maria João Cabral Almeida Ribeiro Thompson
    • 6
  1. 1.University of Porto, Faculty of Economics, and OBEGEF and CEFAGE-UBIPortoPortugal
  2. 2.P-BIO Portugal’s Biotechnology Industry Organization, Biocant ParkCantanhedePortugal
  3. 3.European Banking AuthorityLondonUK
  4. 4.Elixir-Europe.OrgCambridgeshireUK
  5. 5.Católica Porto Business SchoolPortoPortugal
  6. 6.Department of Economics and NIPE, University of Minho, Campus de GualtarBragaPortugal

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