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A re-examination of the technological catching-up hypothesis across OECD industries


  • Boussemart, Jean-Philippe
  • Briec, Walter
  • Cadoret, Isablelle
  • Tavera, Christophe


This study re-examines the catching-up hypothesis at the industry level across the main OECD countries, using panel data econometric models involving technological gap indicators calculated with a nonparametric distance function suggested by Färe et al. [Färe, R.S., Grosskopf, M.N., Norris, M., Xhang, Z., 1994. Productivity growth, technical progress, and efficiency change in industrialized countries. American Economic Review 84, 66–83]. The results show that there is statistical evidence of a catching-up process at the industry level. Moreover, both tradables and nontradables sectors exhibit catching-up effects and technology adoption from abroad. This result complements the findings by Bernard and Jones [Bernard, A.B., Jones, C.I., 1996a. Comparing apples to oranges: productivity convergence and measurement across industries and countries. American Economic Review 86(5), 1216–1238., Bernard, A.B., Jones, C.I., 1996b. Productivity across industries and countries: Time series theory and evidence. Review Of Economics and Statistics 78, 135–146], Gouyette and Perelman [Gouyette, C., Perelman, S., 1997. Productivity convergence in OECD services industries. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics 8, 279–295] and Hansson and Henrekson [Hansson, P., Henrekson, M., 1997. Catching up, social capability, government size and economic growth, in V. Bergström, eds, Government and Growth, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 61–126] that there is no (or even a slow) catching-up effect in the manufacturing sector. Moreover, social capability indicators evaluated for each country show that “Non-European” and “Central European” tradables sectors have a rather similar degree of inefficiency while “North European” countries are less efficient for both tradables and non-tradables. Lastly, both the cross country and the cross sectors dispersions of inefficiency levels are smaller for tradables sectors than for non-tradables.
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  • Boussemart, Jean-Philippe & Briec, Walter & Cadoret, Isablelle & Tavera, Christophe, 2006. "A re-examination of the technological catching-up hypothesis across OECD industries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 967-977, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:23:y:2006:i:6:p:967-977

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Patrick T. Hultberg & M. Ishaq Nadiri & Robin C. Sickles, 1999. "An International Comparison of Technology Adoption and Efficiency: A Dynamic Panel Model," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 55-56, pages 449-474.
    2. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Productivity across Industries and Countries: Time Series Theory and Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 135-146, February.
    3. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
    4. Taskin, Fatma & Zaim, Osman, 1997. "Catching-up and innovation in high- and low-income countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 93-100, January.
    5. Fare, Rolf & Shawna Grosskopf & Mary Norris & Zhongyang Zhang, 1994. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in Industrialized Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 66-83, March.
    6. Gouyette, Claudine & Perelman, Sergio, 1997. "Productivity convergence in OECD service industries," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 279-295, August.
    7. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-1238, December.
    8. repec:adr:anecst:y:1999:i:55-56:p:18 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    10. David Dollar & Edward N. Wolff, 1993. "Competitiveness, Convergence, and International Specialization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262041359, July.
    11. Miller, Stephen M. & Upadhyay, Mukti P., 2002. "Total factor productivity and the convergence hypothesis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 267-286, June.
    12. repec:adr:anecst:y:1999:i:55-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vouldis, Angelos T. & Michaelides, Panayotis G. & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2010. "Estimating semi-parametric output distance functions with neural-based reduced form equations using LIML," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 697-704, May.
    2. Bos, J.W.B. & Economidou, C. & Koetter, M., 2010. "Technology clubs, R&D and growth patterns: Evidence from EU manufacturing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 60-79, January.
    3. Jaap W. B. Bos & Bertrand Candelon & Claire Economidou, 2016. "Does knowledge spill over across borders and technology regimes?," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 63-82, August.
    4. Autant-Bernard, Corinne & Guironnet, Jean-Pascal & Massard, Nadine, 2011. "Agglomeration and social return to R&D: Evidence from French plant productivity changes," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 34-42, July.
    5. Hugo Erken & Piet Donselaar & Roy Thurik, 0000. "Total Factor Productivity and the Role of Entrepreneurship," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-034/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Molinos-Senante, María & Maziotis, Alexandros & Sala-Garrido, Ramón, 2014. "The Luenberger productivity indicator in the water industry: An empirical analysis for England and Wales," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 18-28.
    7. Korap, Levent, 2010. "OECD ülkeleri için ekonomik yakınsama öngörüsünün zaman serisi panel birim kök yöntemleri ile sınanması
      [An essay upon testing economic convergence hypothesis with time series panel unit root metho
      ," MPRA Paper 29644, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Selin Özyurt & Jean-Pascal Guironnet, 2011. "Productivity, scale effect and technological catch-up in Chinese regions," Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(2), pages 64-80, June.
    9. Managi, Shunsuke & Kumar, Surender, 2009. "Trade-induced technological change: Analyzing economic and environmental outcomes," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 721-732, May.
    10. Vatthanamixay Chansomphou & Masaru Ichihashi, 2013. "Structural change, labor productivity growth, and convergence of BRIC countries," IDEC DP2 Series 3-5, Hiroshima University, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC).

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