Venture Capital State: The Silicon Valley Model in East Asia

Robyn Klingler-Vidra

Silicon Valley has become shorthand for a globally acclaimed way to unleash the creative potential of venture capital, supporting innovation and creating jobs. In The Venture Capital State Robyn Klingler-Vidra traces how and why different states have adopted distinct versions of the Silicon Valley model.

Venture capital seeks high rewards but is enveloped in high risk. The author`s deep investigations of venture capital policymaking in East Asian states (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore) show that success does not reflect policymakers` ability to replicate the Silicon Valley model. Instead, she argues, performance reflects their skill in adapting a highly lauded model to their local context. Policymakers are contextually rational in their learning; their context-rooted norms shape their preferences. The normative context for learning about policy--how elites see themselves and what they deem as locally appropriate--informs how they design their efforts.

The Venture Capital State offers a novel conceptualization of rationality, bridging diametrically opposed versions of bounded and conventional rationality. This new understanding of rationality is simultaneously fully informed and context based, and it provides a framework by which analysts can bring domestic factors to the very heart of international diffusion of policy. Klingler-Vidra concludes that states have a visible hand in constituting even quintessentially neoliberal markets.