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Knowledge flows in the solar photovoltaic industry: Insights from patenting by Taiwan, Korea, and China

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  • Wu, Ching-Yan
  • Mathews, John A.
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    Abstract

    In this paper we extend work previously undertaken in industries such as semiconductor and flat panel displays to investigate knowledge flows from advanced countries (US, Japan and Europe) to catch-up follower countries (Taiwan, Korea and China), this time in the emergent solar photovoltaic industry. The solar photovoltaic industry is of particular interest in that it is poised between exploitation of first generation (crystalline silicon technologies) and new thin film and organic compound technologies, thus providing distinct sources of knowledge flow as measured by patent citations and linkage. For this study, we deploy a new database of 19,105 solar photovoltaic patents taken out by Taiwan, Korea and China at the USPTO over the 24 years 1984–2008, and analyse the knowledge flows revealed in these patents using a set of 12 International Patent Classification technology categories that we constructed. We demonstrate commonalities in patterns of knowledge flow between solar photovoltaic and earlier industries, but also suggestive differences, such as rising dependence of the catch-up countries on their own intra-national knowledge generation and flow, indicating their shift from imitation to innovation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 524-540

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:3:p:524-540

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

    Related research

    Keywords: Knowledge flow; Patent citation; Solar photovoltaic (PV); East Asia; Imitation to innovation; Catch-up;

    References

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    1. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Matthieu Glachant & Ivan Hascic & Nick Johnstone & Yann Ménière, 2010. "Invention and transfer of climate change mitigation technologies on a global scale: a study drawing on patent data," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 17, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    2. John Mathews & Mei-Chih Hu & Ching-Yan Wu, 2011. "Fast-Follower Industrial Dynamics: The Case of Taiwan's Emergent Solar Photovoltaic Industry," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 177-202.
    3. Kyoo-Ho Park & Keun Lee, 2006. "Linking the technological regime to the technological catch-up: analyzing Korea and Taiwan using the US patent data," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(4), pages 715-753, August.
    4. Arnaud De La Tour & Matthieu Glachant & Yann Ménière, 2011. "Innovation and international technology transfer: The case of the Chinese photovoltaic industry," Post-Print hal-00498578, HAL.
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    7. Antoine Dechezlepr�tre & Matthieu Glachant & Ivan Haščič & Nick Johnstone & Yann Ménière, 2011. "Invention and Transfer of Climate Change--Mitigation Technologies: A Global Analysis," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 109-130, Winter.
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    10. Hu, Mei-Chih & Mathews, John A., 2008. "China's national innovative capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1465-1479, October.
    11. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1996. "Flows of Knowledge from Universities and Federal Labs: Modeling the Flowof Patent Citations Over Time and Across Institutional and Geographic Boundari," NBER Working Papers 5712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Christoph Böhringer & Alexander Cuntz & Dietmar Harhoff & Emmanuel Asane Otoo, 2014. "The Impacts of Feed-in Tariffs on Innovation: Empirical Evidence from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 4680, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Nelson, Andrew & Earle, Andrew & Howard-Grenville, Jennifer & Haack, Julie & Young, Doug, 2014. "Do innovation measures actually measure innovation? Obliteration, symbolic adoption, and other finicky challenges in tracking innovation diffusion," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 927-940.
    3. Zeting LIU, 2013. "La politique d’innovation chinoise face au défi de la transition énergétique China's innovation policy and the challenge of energy transition: the case of photovoltaic and wind turbine industries," Working Papers 271, Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO / Research Unit on Industry and Innovation.

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