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Understanding Innovation in Production Networks in East Asia

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  • Wignaraja, Ganeshan

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

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    Abstract

    This paper explores the “black box” of innovation in the electronics production network in East Asia through a mapping exercise of technological capabilities and an econometric analysis of exporting in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Thailand, and the Philippines. Technology-based approaches to trade offer a plausible explanation for firm-level exporting behavior and complement the literature on production networks. The econometric results confirm the importance of foreign ownership and innovation in increasing the probability of exporting in electronics. Higher levels of skills, managers’ education, and capital also matter in the PRC as well as accumulated experience in Thailand. Furthermore, a technology index composed of technical functions performed by firms (to represent technological capabilities) emerges as a more robust indicator of innovation than the research and development (R&D) to sales ratio. Accordingly, technological effort in electronics in these countries mostly focuses on assimilating and using imported technologies rather than formal R&D by specialized engineers.

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    File URL: http://www.adbi.org/files/2013.03.01.wp410.understanding.innovation.prod.networks.east.asia.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Asian Development Bank Institute in its series ADBI Working Papers with number 410.

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    Length: 23 pages
    Date of creation: 03 Mar 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ris:adbiwp:0410

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    Keywords: production networks; foreign direct investment; innovation; technological capabilities; r&d; exports; east asia; prc; thailand; philippines;

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    19. Sanjaya Lall, 1986. "Technological development and export performance in LDCs: Leading engineering and chemical firms in India," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 80-92, March.
    20. Jason Dedrick & Kenneth L. Kraemer & Greg Linden, 2010. "Who profits from innovation in global value chains? A study of the iPod and notebook PCs," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 81-116, February.
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