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Trade and the Transmission of Technology

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  • Wolfgang Keller

Abstract

This paper studies the role of trade, both domestically as well as internationally, as a channel of technology transmission. A model is presented in which R&D investments towards product innovations trigger total factor productivity growth at the industry level. If the new products are exported to other industries, the return to the R&D investments does in part spill over to these industries. The model predicts that total factor productivity levels are positively related to both own-, and the domestic and foreign industry R&D investments of the trade partners. Using data on trade relations between OECD country sectors, effective R&D stocks are constructed which should pick up technology flows that are trade-related. The empirical results, which are comparative to a benchmark model where trade relations play no role, find generally only weak support for the notion that the transmission of technology is trade-related; more specifically, they point more towards domestic than to international trade. At the same time, the results suggest that the adopted approach might not be powerful enough to identify trade-related technology flows, which has implications for other areas of research which have used analogous approaches before.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 9609001.

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Date of creation: 09 Sep 1996
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:9609001

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Keywords: Intersectoral technology flows; international technology flows; productivity growth; Research and Development - Driven Innovation;

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  1. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Patents, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Chapters, in: R & D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 73-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rodrik, Rani, 1995. "Trade and industrial policy reform," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 45, pages 2925-2982 Elsevier.
  3. Adam B. Jaffe, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 1815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "R&D and Productivity Growth at the Industry Level: Is There Still a Relationship?," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 213-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Zvi Griliches, 1979. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 92-116, Spring.
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  12. Keller, Wolfgang, 1996. "Absorptive capacity: On the creation and acquisition of technology in development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 199-227, April.
  13. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Interindustry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth: A Reexamination," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 241-250 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1990. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Samuel Kortum & Jonathan Putnam, 1997. "Assigning Patents to Industries: Tests of the Yale Technology Concordance," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 161-176.
  16. M. Ishaq Nadiri & Ingmar R. Prucha, 1993. "Estimation of the Depreciation Rate of Physical and R&D Capital in the U.S. Total Manufacturing Sector," NBER Working Papers 4591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Frederic Scherer, 1984. "Using Linked Patent and R&D Data to Measure InterindustryTechnology Flows," NBER Chapters, in: R & D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 417-464 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Daniel Johnson & Robert Evenson, 1997. "Innovation and Invention in Canada," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 177-192.
  19. Park, Walter G, 1995. "International R&D Spillovers and OECD Economic Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(4), pages 571-91, October.
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