IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/deveco/v88y2009i2p242-257.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Product variety and technical change

Author

Listed:
  • Frensch, Richard
  • Gaucaite Wittich, Vitalija

Abstract

Motivated by growth models based on the variety of capital goods, recent empirical studies have established links between productivity and several trade-based measures of product variety, carrying the implication that these measures may represent technology. We study this implication by explicitly proposing the variety of capital goods available for production as a direct measure of the state of technology. Within a simple growth and development framework, we derive a 'conditional technological convergence' hypothesis on how this variety should behave if it were indeed to represent the state of technology. The hypothesis is tested with highly disaggregated trade data, using tools from the income convergence literature. The results suggest that a trade-based count measure of the variety of available capital goods, allowing for product differentiation by country of origin, indeed behaves 'as if' it represented technology when change of technology is understood as a learning process, and that there is conditional technological convergence among our panel of mainly OECD and transition economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Frensch, Richard & Gaucaite Wittich, Vitalija, 2009. "Product variety and technical change," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 242-257, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:88:y:2009:i:2:p:242-257
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304-3878(08)00040-0
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
    2. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt & David Mayer-Foulkes, 2005. "The Effect of Financial Development on Convergence: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 173-222.
    3. Francisco Rodríguez, 2006. "Openness and Growth: What Have We Learned?," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2006-011, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
    4. Michael Funke & Ralf Ruhwedel, 2005. "Export variety and economic growth in East European transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(1), pages 25-50, January.
    5. By Michael Funke & Ralf Ruhwedel, 2001. "Product Variety and Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence for the OECD Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(2), pages 1-1.
    6. Wolfgang Keller, 2004. "International Technology Diffusion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 752-782, September.
    7. William Hauk & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "A Monte Carlo study of growth regressions," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 103-147, June.
    8. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2013. "How Important Is the New Goods Margin in International Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 358-392.
    9. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1998. "Appropriate Technology and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1025-1054.
    10. Ricardo Hausmann & Bailey Klinger, 2006. "Structural Transformation and Patterns of Comparative Advantage in the Product Space," CID Working Papers 128, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    11. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    12. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
    13. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, January.
    14. Feenstra, Robert C. & Madani, Dorsati & Yang, Tzu-Han & Liang, Chi-Yuan, 1999. "Testing endogenous growth in South Korea and Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 317-341, December.
    15. Robert C. Feenstra & Hiau Looi Kee, 2007. "Trade Liberalisation and Export Variety: A Comparison of Mexico and China," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 5-21, January.
    16. Comin, D. & Hobijn, B., 2004. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 39-83, January.
    17. Frensch, Richard, 2004. "Public governance as the source of quality and variety gains from transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 388-408, September.
    18. Richard Frensch, 2008. "Trade liberalisation, adoption costs, and import margins in CEEC and OECD trade," Working Papers 269, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    19. 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.
    20. Ricardo Hausmann & Jason Hwang & Dani Rodrik, 2007. "What you export matters," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, March.
    21. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-177, March.
    22. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Romer, Paul, 1994. "New goods, old theory, and the welfare costs of trade restrictions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 5-38, February.
    24. Easterly, William & King, Robert G & Levine, Ross & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1994. "Policy, Technology Adoption and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 957, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    25. Wong Wei-Kang, 2007. "Economic Growth: A Channel Decomposition Exercise," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-38, January.
    26. Addison, Douglas M., 2003. "Productivity growth and product variety : gains from imitation and education," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3023, The World Bank.
    27. Sergio Godoy & Joseph Stiglitz, 2006. "Growth, Initial Conditions, Law and Speed of Privatization in Transition Countries: 11 Years Later," NBER Working Papers 11992, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Michael Funke & Ralf Ruhwedel, 2002. "Export variety and export performance: Empirical evidence for the OECD countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 138(1), pages 97-114, March.
    29. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Madsen, Jakob B. & Saxena, Shishir & Ang, James B., 2010. "The Indian growth miracle and endogenous growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 37-48, September.
    2. Richard Frensch & Jan Hanousek & Evžen Kocenda, 2012. "Incomplete specialization and offshoring across Europe," FIW Working Paper series 091, FIW.
    3. Pavla Nikolovova, 2012. "The Impact of FDI on the Host Economy," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp471, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    4. Richard Frensch, 2010. "Trade Liberalization and Import Margins," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 4-22, May.
    5. Jan Van Hove, 2010. "Variety and quality in intra-European manufacturing trade: the impact of innovation and technological spillovers," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 43-59.
    6. Venturini, Francesco, 2012. "Looking into the black box of Schumpeterian growth theories: An empirical assessment of R&D races," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1530-1545.
    7. Richard Frensch, 2010. "Trade Liberalization and Import Margins," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 46(3), pages 4-22, May.
    8. Lee, Jim, 2011. "Export specialization and economic growth around the world," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 45-63, March.
    9. Richard Frensch, 2008. "Trade liberalisation, adoption costs, and import margins in CEEC and OECD trade," Working Papers 269, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    10. A. Minniti & F. Venturini, 2014. "R&D Policy and Schumpeterian Growth: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers wp945, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    11. Pavla NIKOLOVOVÁ, 2013. "Sourcing Patterns of FDI Activity and Their Impact on the Domestic Economy," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 63(3), pages 288-302, July.
    12. Hanousek, Jan & Kočenda, Evžen, 2014. "Factors of trade in Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 518-535.
    13. Lu Yan, 2015. "An Analysis for Cobb-Douglas Production Function, the Capability Proxies, Net Society Value and Technology Indicator," Bulletin of Business and Economics (BBE), Research Foundation for Humanity (RFH), vol. 4(2), pages 105-126, June.
    14. Frensch, Richard & Schmillen, Achim, 2011. "Can we identify Balassa-Samuelson effects with measures of product variety?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 98-108, March.
    15. Goran Petrevski & Jane Bogoev & Bruno Sergi, 2012. "The link between central bank independence and inflation in Central and Eastern Europe: are the results sensitive to endogeneity issue omitted dynamics and subjectivity bias?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 611-652.
    16. Katharina Eck, 2010. "(Wie) Führt Außenhandel zu Wirtschaftswachstum?," Working Papers 284, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Product variety Diffusion Adoption Technical change;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:88:y:2009:i:2:p:242-257. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.