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The Sun Also Rises: Productivity Convergence Between Japan and the USA

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  • Gavin Cameron

Abstract

The growth process for a technological leader is different from that of a follower. While followers can grow through imitation and capital deepening, a leader must undertake original research. This suggests that as the gap between the leader and the follower narrows, the follower must undertake more formal R&D and possibly face a slower overall growth rate. This paper constructs measures of relative total factor productivity for eleven Japanese manufacturing industries and uses dynamic panel data methods to test whether a smaller productivity gap leads to slower growth, and whether R&D takes over as the engine of growth as Japan approaches the technological frontier. The results suggest that Japanese and US productivity have been growing at similar rates since the mid-1970s, and that some of the Japanese growth slowdown is attributable to the exhaustion of imitation possibilities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 45.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2000
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:45

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Keywords: economic growth; total factor productivity; catch-up; innovation; heterogeneous dynamic panels;

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Cited by:
  1. Francesco Venturini, 2005. "How Much Does IT Consumption Matter for Growth? Evidence from National Accounts," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, SIPI Spa, vol. 95(1), pages 57-110, January-F.
  2. Rattsø, Jørn & Stokke, Hildegunn, 2009. "Wage inequality, comparative advantage and skill biased technical change in South Africa," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 34, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  3. Jørn Rattsø & Torfinn Harding, 2009. "Looking Abroad, but Lagging Behind: How the World Technology Frontier Affects South Africa," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology 10209, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  4. Hildegunn Ekroll Stokke, 2008. "Multinational supermarket chains in developing countries: Does local agriculture benefit," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology 9408, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  5. Alessandro STERLACCHINI & Francesco VENTURINI, 2007. "Boosting Manufacturing Productivity Through R&D: International Comparisons with Special Focus on Italy," Working Papers, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali 306, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  6. Hildegunn Ekroll Stokke, 2005. "Productivity Growth in Backward Economies and the Role of Barriers to Technology Adoption," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology 4905, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  7. Jørn Rattsø & Hildegunn E. Stokke, 2009. "Trade barriers to growth in South Africa: Endogenous investment-productivity-trade interaction," DEGIT Conference Papers, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade c014_010, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  8. Tehmina S. Khan, 2006. "Productivity Growth, Technological Convergence, RandD, Trade, and Labor Markets," IMF Working Papers 06/230, International Monetary Fund.
  9. N. Apergis & C. Economidou & I. Filippidis, 2008. "Innovation, Technology Transfer and Labor Productivity Linkages: Evidence from a Panel of Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers, Utrecht School of Economics 08-29, Utrecht School of Economics.
  10. Sterlacchini, Alessandro & Venturini, Francesco, 2011. "R&D and productivity in high-tech manufacturing: a comparison between Italy and Spain," MPRA Paper 30048, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Yucan Liu & C. Richard Shumway & Robert Rosenman & V. Eldon Ball, 2008. "Productivity Growth and Convergence in U.S. Agriculture: New Cointegration Panel Data Results," Working Papers, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University 2008-4, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.

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