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Leapfrogging in International Competition: A Theory of Cycles in National Technological Leadership


  • Brezis, Elise S
  • Krugman, Paul R
  • Tsiddon, Daniel


Endogenous-growth theory suggests that technological change tends to reinforce the position of the leading nations. Yet sometimes this leadership role shifts. The authors suggest a mechanism that explains this pattern of 'leapfrogging' as a response to occasional major changes in technology. When such a change occurs, the new technology does not initially seem to be an improvement for leading nations, given their extensive experience with older technologies. Lagging nations have less experience; the new technique allows them to use their lower wages to enter the market. If the new technique proves more productive than the old, leapfrogging of leadership occurs. Copyright 1993 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Brezis, Elise S & Krugman, Paul R & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1993. "Leapfrogging in International Competition: A Theory of Cycles in National Technological Leadership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1211-1219, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:83:y:1993:i:5:p:1211-19

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