Compared to Latin America and other regions, Asia scores high on innovation. The reasons are complex but education is fundamental to the process.

For decades, Asia grew much faster than any other part of the world while many Latin America economies struggled. While Latin America was far richer than Asia in 1960, Asia's sustained rapid growth has greatly reduced the income gap.

Innovation is a key ingredient of economic growth and development, and more innovative economies experience faster productivity growth. Asia's edge in innovation may help explain its faster economic growth.

As an anecdotal example, Asia is home to wellknown innovative tech giants such as Alibaba, Samsung Electronics, and Infosys.

Such globally known tech companies are much less common in Latin America. Beyond anecdotes, we looked at the data.

n a recently published ADB study, we analysed and compared innovation in these two regions. Our approach is different from most empirical analysis of the determinants of innovation.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 29 2021, of The Himalayan Times.