Competitiveness and Science and Math Education: Comparing Costa Rica, El Salvador and Brazil (Recife) to Sweden
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The purpose of this study is to document and give deeper substance to the link between math and science achievement and the economic performance of firms in the information and communications technology (ICT) cluster in four countries: Brazil (Recife), Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Sweden. Sweden was used as the comparison country since its achievement in math and science, as measured by international tests, ranks among the highest in the world. There are four premises that underpin this study: 1) There is a clear link between math and science achievement and the economic performance of firms in a country; 2) This link is forged in the process of technology transfer; 3) The process of technology transfer in developing countries often occurs in exchanges between a transnational corporation (TNC) and its local suppliers; 4) Good math and science skill levels are critical for the technology transfer process to create value, both for the TNC and its local suppliers/partners.