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The determinants of technological capability: A cross-country analysis

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  • Jeffrey James
  • Henny Romijn

Abstract

Existing studies aimed at explaining cross-country differences in technological capabilities among developing countries have tended to use crude and unrealistic proxies—such as expenditure on R&D or the number of registered patents—which bear little or no relation to the findings from firm-level studies. This paper introduces a more realistic measure of technological capability based on an index developed by UNIDO, which is related to the complexity involved in the manufacture of engineering goods. The significance of this measure derives from the fact that in developing countries, the mastery of known technologies is far more important than the ability to generate new technologies through formal R&D. A regression analysis carried out with this measure points to the significance of market size, the stock of scientists and engineers and trade policy orientation as important determinants of cross-country differences in this measure of production capability.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 25 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 189-207

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:25:y:1997:i:2:p:189-207

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Cited by:
  1. Rajneesh Narula, 2004. "Understanding absorptive capacities in an "innovation systems" context consequences for economic and employment growth," DRUID Working Papers 04-02, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  2. Wignaraja, Ganeshan & Krüger, Jens & Tuazon, Anna Mae, 2013. "Production Networks, Profits, and Innovative Activity: Evidence from Malaysia and Thailand," ADBI Working Papers 406, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  3. Wang, Jue & Liu, Xiaming & Wei, Yingqi & Wang, Chengang, 2014. "Cultural Proximity and Local Firms’ catch up with Multinational Enterprises," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 1-13.

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