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Wake Up and Smell the Ginseng: The Rise of Incremental Innovation in Low-Wage Countries

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  • Puga, Diego
  • Trefler, Daniel

Abstract

Increasingly, a small number of low-wage countries such as China and India are involved in innovation - not the `big ideas', but the constant incremental innovations needed to stay ahead in business. We provide some evidence of this and develop a model in which there is a transition from old-style product-cycle trade to trade involving incremental innovation in low-wage countries. We explain why levels of involvement in innovation vary across low-wage countries and even across firms in each low-wage country. We then draw out the implications of this for the location of production, trade, capital flows, earnings and living standards.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5286.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5286

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Keywords: international trade; low-wage country innovation;

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References

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  1. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ladders And Product Cycles," Papers 39-89, Tel Aviv.
  2. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Outsourcing versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium," Working Papers 148, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  4. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2012. "Globalization and the empowerment of talent," Munich Reprints in Economics 19254, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Barbara Spencer, 2005. "International outsourcing and incomplete contracts," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1107-1135, November.
  7. Pol Antras, 2004. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 62, Econometric Society.
  8. Diego Puga & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "Knowledge Creation and Control in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 9121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
  10. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1987, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  12. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2006. "Power Inside the Firm and the Market: A General Equilibrium Approach," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 109, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  14. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
  15. Ethier, Wilfred J. & Markusen, James R., 1996. "Multinational firms, technology diffusion and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1-2), pages 1-28, August.
  16. John Sutton, 2004. "The auto-component supply chain in China and India: a benchmark study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2292, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  17. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Endogemour Product Cycles," Papers 10-89, Tel Aviv.
  18. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
  19. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and the World Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 253-66, April.
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  22. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Endogenous Prduct Cycles," Papers 144, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  23. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marin, Dalia & Thierry, Verdier, 2007. "Power in the Multinational Corporation in Industry Equilibrium," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 209, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600, 05.
  3. Dobson, Wendy & Masson, Paul R., 2009. "Will the renminbi become a world currency?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 124-135, March.
  4. Antràs, Pol & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2008. "Organizations and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Amelia Santos-Paulino & Guanghua Wan, 2011. "Southern growth engines and technology giants: introduction," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 1-5, April.
  6. Lee Branstetter & C. Fritz Foley, 2010. "Facts and Fallacies about U.S. FDI in China," NBER Chapters, in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 513-539 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lee Branstetter & C. Fritz Foley, 2007. "Facts and Fallacies about U.S. FDI in China," NBER Working Papers 13470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Diego Puga & Daniel Trefler, 2009. "Wake up and smell the ginseng: International trade and the rise of incremental innovation in low-wage countries," Working Papers 2009-01, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.

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