Mario Scerri

Position: 
Senior Research Fellow & Professor of Economics
Email Address: 
mario@ieri.org.za
Telephone Number: 
+27 (0)82 333 7521
File attachments: 
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Qualification Summary: 

BA (Hons) (University of Malta), MA (University of New Orleans) and a PhD (University of the Witwatersrand), all in economics.

Biography: 

Mario Scerri is a Senior Research Fellow at IERI and a Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Economics and Finance at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and STI Policy in the Faculty of Economics at the Tshwane University of Technology.  He is also a Professor Extraordinary in the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University, South Africa and a Visiting Senior Researcher at the School of Economics and Business Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. 

  He was the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Finance at the Tshwane University of Technology from 2004 to 2007 and before that the Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the Technikon North-West (South Africa) from 2001 to 2003.  Prior to that, he taught economics at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) for seventeen years.

His research focus is on the evolution of innovation systems, specifically within sub-Saharan Africa, primarily from a political economy perspective.  He has also worked on various aspects of the national systems of innovation of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies and on the integration of systems of innovation in sub-Saharan Africa.  He has written on the determinants of R&D expenditures in manufacturing industries, on local innovation systems and on the relationship between the state and the national system of innovation in South Africa. He has also written on the teaching of undergraduate economics and of the economics of innovation.  

He is the author of The Evolution of the South African System of Innovation since 1916 (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).  He is the editor of The Emergence of Systems of Innovation in South(ern) Africa: Long Histories and Contemporary Debates (Johannesburg: MISTRA and Real African Publishers, 2016).   He is also the co-editor of three books on the national systems of innovation in the BRICS (New Delhi: Routledge, 2013)and was the co-editor of the book Measuring Innovation in OECD and non-OECD Countries (Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2006). .  He has published articles in the STI Policy Review, the International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, the South African Journal of Economics, the South African Journal of International Affairs and the African Development Review. He is the author of chapters in the following books: The Political Economy of Indian Ocean Maritime Africa (New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2015), The Africana World: From Fragmentation to Unity and Renaissance (South Africa: Africa Institute of South Africa), Local Economies and Global Competitiveness (UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Universities in Transition - the Changing Role and Challenges for Academic Institutions (New York: IDRC Publishing & Springer, 2011), The Indian Ocean Rim: Southern Africa and Regional Co-operation., (New York: Routledge-Curzon, 2003) and Putting Africa First: The Making of African Innovation Systems. (Denmark: Aalborg University Press, 2003.

Selected Books, Chapters and Reports

2015
Mario Scerri

This paper looks at the conditions which will determine the engagement of the four IORA member countries in sub-Saharan Africa - Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa – with the other economies in the association. These four countries are not viewed in isolation from other African economies, given the increasing importance of the regional economic agreements which link them to the rest...

Keywords: Global political economy | Mario Scerri | Selected Books, Chapters and Reports
2014
Maria Clara Couto Soares, Mario Scerri, Rasigan Maharajh (Editors)

This volume analyses the co-evolution of inequality and NSI across the BRICS economies. It reveals the multi-dimensional character of inequality, in going beyond its income aspect to include assets, access to basic services, infrastructure, knowledge, race, gender,...

Keywords: BRICS | Innovation | Innovation theory, systems and indicators | Mario Scerri | Rasigan Maharajh | Selected Books, Chapters and Reports
2014
Ana Arroio, Mario Scerri (Editors)

This volume looks at the relationship between small and medium enterprises and national systems of innovation across the BRICS countries. It brings to fore crucial issues in the evolution and future trends of industrial or innovation policies for small...

Keywords: BRICS | Innovation | Innovation theory, systems and indicators | Mario Scerri | Selected Books, Chapters and Reports
2012
Mario Scerri and Helena M. M. Lastres (Editors)

This five volume set examines various aspects of the BRICS economies from a national system of innovation perspective. Original and detailed data together with expert analyses by contributing authors on wide-ranging issues make this an invaluable resource for researchers and scholars in economics,...

Keywords: BRICS | Innovation | Innovation theory, systems and indicators | Mario Scerri | Selected Books, Chapters and Reports
2008
Mario Scerri

In this book, Mario Scerri provides the reader with a novel and sweeping rendition of South Africa's economic history from the early part of the twentieth century to the present. He applies a broad innovation systems approach to this history spanning the period from 1916, which saw the drafting of South Africa's first Science and Technology plan to the first fourteen years of the post-...

Keywords: Innovation theory, systems and indicators | Mario Scerri | Selected Books, Chapters and Reports
2008
Mario Scerri

The re-drawing of the provincial map in South Africa after the collapse of apartheid had to address the spatial economics that had emerged within the peculiar frame of reference of apartheid. The main parameters of this planning context had been the creation of homelands, or bantustans, as independent political economies and the containment of black labour within townships close to, but...

Keywords: Local economic development | Mario Scerri | Selected Books, Chapters and Reports
2006
William Blankley, Mario Scerri, Neo Molotja, Imraan Saloojee (eds)

The formulation of the concept of a national innovation system (NIS) emerged from an evolutionary account of the economics of technological change that had arisen in opposition to the established neoclassical orthodoxy. The principal defining feature of the new paradigm was its emphasis on specificities as opposed to the universality assumed the the neoclassical account of technological change...

Keywords: African integration | Mario Scerri | National System of Innovation | Selected Books, Chapters and Reports
2006
Mario Scerri

This book emerged from the seminar on the Measurement of Innovation Activities in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)and non-OECD countries held in South Africa in 2001. The motivation for that forum was the recognised need to address a new exciting phenomenon in the area of economic policy formulation.

Keywords: Innovation theory, systems and indicators | Mario Scerri | Selected Books, Chapters and Reports
2006
William Blankley, Mario Scerri, Neo Molotja, Imraan Saloojee (eds)

It is widely accepted that innovation is key to economic growth. Countries where research and innovation are high on the national agenda are best suited to prosper in the knowledge-based economy. Conversely, countries whose economies are mainly dependent on natural resources and basic industries tend to lack competitiveness and flexibility in adapting to changing global trends. The...

Keywords: Innovation theory, systems and indicators | Mario Scerri | Selected Books, Chapters and Reports

Journal Article

2014
Mario Scerri

The Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa (BRICS) group has emerged as a collection of large economies which are outside the traditional groups of industrialised “first world” economies and which have altered the global distribution of economic power. The basis of their emergence is a combination of their size and growth rates, and the fact that they lie outside the established centres...

Keywords: Innovation theory, systems and indicators | Journal Article | Mario Scerri
2013
Mario Scerri

This paper develops and applies a concept of modes of innovation to the issue of economic development and the integration of African economies. This concept, which is located in the systems of innovation approach to economic dynamics, is first developed in the context of the development of capitalism. It is then applied to the evolution of African systems of innovation over three periods...

Keywords: African integration | Journal Article | Mario Scerri
2013
Mario Scerri

This paper develops and applies a concept of modes of innovation to the issue of economic development and the integration of African economies. This concept, which is located in the systems of innovation approach to economic dynamics, is first developed in the context of the development of capitalism. It is then applied to the evolution of African systems of innovation over three periods...

Keywords: African integration | Journal Article | Mario Scerri
2012
Mario Scerri

In this paper I examine the possible modes of introducing a Systems of Innovation (SI) approach into economics curricula. I look at the various possible choices of coupling this approach with standard economic curricula and then explore the implications of these various choices. I link this argument with current heterodox debates on the relevance of the neoclassical text and the...

Keywords: Innovation theory, systems and indicators | Journal Article | Mario Scerri
2008
Mario Scerri

This paper explores possible reasons for the long and enduring dominance of neoclassical theory over the undergraduate microeconomics textbook. It proposes that those very attributes of neoclassical microeconomics that raise serious theoretical misgivings constitute the basis for the current hegemony of the standard undergraduate textbook. It further discusses the effects of the standard text...

Keywords: Journal Article | Mario Scerri

Presentations and Other

2010
Mario Scerri

There were a number of options in the naming of this institute whose anniversary wen have gathered here today to celebrate. This was due to the nature of our object of analysis, innovation, where a number of disciplines intersect and where, therefore, a strong degree of multi-disciplinarity is called for.

Keywords: Innovation | Innovation theory, systems and indicators | Mario Scerri | Presentations and Other

IERI Working Papers

2009
Mario Scerri

This paper uses the concepts of means of innovation and modes of innovation to introduce an alternative approach to the understanding of the evolution of the South African system of innovation. Modes of innovation are defined in terms of ownership and control patterns of the means of innovation, as well as the role played by human capital. The relationship between ideology and modes of...

Keywords: IERI Working Papers | Innovation theory, systems and indicators | Mario Scerri