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North-South technology diffusion, regional integration, and the dynamics of the “natural trading partners” hypothesis

  • Maurice Schiff
  • Yanling Wang

Based on static analysis, a number of studies argue that forming a regional trade agreement (RTA) is more likely to raise welfare if member countries are ?natural trading partners,? while other studies claim the opposite. This paper considers the argument from a dynamic viewpoint by examining the impact of trade with Japan, North America and the EU on technology diffusion and total factor productivity (TFP) in Jordan, Korea and Mexico. Using industry-level data, we show that: i) technology diffusion and productivity gains tend to be regional: Jordan, Korea, and Mexico tend to benefit mainly from trade with the EU, Japan, and North America respectively; and ii) the dynamic version of the ?natural trading partners? hypothesis seems to hold. JEL Classification: F02, F13, F15, F43, O39

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Article provided by De Boeck Université in its journal Revue d'économie du développement.

Volume (Year): 15 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 69-84

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Handle: RePEc:cai:edddbu:edd_215_0069
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  1. Elhanan Helpman & David T. Coe, 1993. "International RandD Spillovers," IMF Working Papers 93/84, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Keller, Wolfgang, 1998. "Are international R&D spillovers trade-related?: Analyzing spillovers among randomly matched trade partners," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1469-1481, September.
  3. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1999. "International Technology Diffusion: Theory and Measurement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 537-70, August.
  4. Coe, David T. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "International R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 859-887, May.
  5. Lumenga-Neso, Olivier & Olarreaga, Marcelo & Schiff, Maurice, 2005. "On `indirect' trade-related R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1785-1798, October.
  6. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Frank Lichtenberg, 1998. "International R&D spillovers comment," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6233, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Schiff, Maurice, 2001. "Will the Real “Natural Trading Partner” Please Stand Up?," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 16, pages 245-261.
  8. Panagariya, A., 1997. "Preferential trading and the myth of natural trading partners," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 471-489, December.
  9. David T. Coe & Alexander W. Hoffmaister, 1999. "Are there International RandD Spillovers Among Randomly Matched Trade Partners? A Response to Keller," IMF Working Papers 99/18, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Regionalism and the world trading system," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 295-301.
  11. Michaely, Michael, 1998. "Partners to a preferential trade agreement: Implications of varying size," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 73-85, October.
  12. Schiff, Maurice & Wang, Yanling & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2002. "Trade-related technology diffusion and the dynamics of North-South and South-South integration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2861, The World Bank.
  13. Pravin Krishna, 2003. "Are Regional Trading Partners "Natural"?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 202-231, February.
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