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