Carlota Perez is one of the world’s foremost experts on the impact of technical change on economic growth and development from the Industrial Revolution to the present day. Author of the influential Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages (Elgar 2002), her work has informed our present understanding of the relationship between technology, innovation and economic development; between technical and institutional change; and between finance, technological diffusion and economic growth.Currently Visiting Professor of International Development at the London School of Economics, Professor of Technology and Development at the Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, and Honorary Professor at SPRU, the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, UK, her long career has spanned civil service and academic research, consultancy and teaching.
Her investigation into ‘big picture’ explanations of economic change began in the 1970s, in Venezuela, her country of origin, with research into the structural causes of the energy crisis. After working on international technology transfer at the Venezuelan 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.
At the same time, she began to nurture research links with European Universities. In 1983, she began a long-term collaboration with the eminent innovation scholar, Professor Chris Freeman. She was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK, and at the United Nation’s Institute for New Technologies (INTECH-UNU), Maastricht. She was then affiliated to the Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance (CERF) programme at the Judge Business School, Cambridge University, from 2002 until 2014.
Professor Perez has acted as consultant for several Latin American governments and for international organisations and multilateral agencies such as UNIDO, CEPAL, the Andean Pact, the World Bank and the OECD. Most recently she was Chair of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Expert Group for Green Growth and Jobs. In the early 1990s she was advisor to INTEVEP, the R&D and technology arm of PDVSA, the national oil company in Venezuela, and has carried out consultancy work for many global corporations including IBM, Cisco, Telefonica, Mondragon and Ericsson.
Since the publication of her book, she has been regularly invited to participate as keynote speaker at international business conferences and public policy events. Professor Perez’ books and papers are used as study material in post-graduate courses in universities around the world, and she lectures at numerous seminars and student conferences.