IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

International spillovers and absorptive capacity: A cross-country cross-sector analysis based on patents and citations


  • Mancusi, Maria Luisa


This paper brings together the issues of knowledge spillovers and absorptive capacity, by assessing the role of prior R&D experience in enhancing a country's ability to understand and improve upon external knowledge. International spillovers are found effective in increasing innovative productivity in laggard countries, while technological leaders are a source rather than a destination of knowledge flows. Quantitative estimates of the effect of absorptive capacity on innovative performance, through knowledge spillovers, show that absorptive capacity increases the elasticity of a laggard country's innovation to international spillovers, while its marginal effect is negligible for countries at the technological frontier.

Suggested Citation

  • Mancusi, Maria Luisa, 2008. "International spillovers and absorptive capacity: A cross-country cross-sector analysis based on patents and citations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 155-165, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:76:y:2008:i:2:p:155-165

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
    2. Nicholas Bloom & Mark Schankerman & John Van Reenen, 2013. "Identifying Technology Spillovers and Product Market Rivalry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1347-1393, July.
    3. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Windmeijer, Frank, 2002. "Individual effects and dynamics in count data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 113-131, May.
    4. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    5. Redding, Stephen, 2002. "Specialization dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 299-334, December.
    6. Branstetter, Lee G., 2001. "Are knowledge spillovers international or intranational in scope?: Microeconometric evidence from the U.S. and Japan," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 53-79, February.
    7. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Paul Geroski & Steve Machin & John Van Reenen, 1993. "The Profitability of Innovating Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 198-211, Summer.
    9. Wolfgang Keller, 2004. "International Technology Diffusion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 752-782, September.
    10. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Proudman, James & Redding, Stephen, 2000. "Evolving Patterns of International Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 373-396, August.
    12. Bottazzi, Laura & Peri, Giovanni, 2003. "Innovation and spillovers in regions: Evidence from European patent data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 687-710, August.
    13. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques, 1995. "Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 263-293, January.
    14. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-938, July.
    15. Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Determinants of Knowledge Flows and Their Effect on Innovation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 308-322, May.
    16. Emmanuel Duguet & Megan MacGarvie, 2005. "How well do patent citations measure flows of technology? Evidence from French innovation surveys," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 375-393.
    17. Stephen Bond & CĂ©line Nauges & Frank Windmeijer, 2005. "Unit roots: identification and testing in micro panels," CeMMAP working papers CWP07/05, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    18. Maurseth, Per Botolf & Verspagen, Bart, 2002. " Knowledge Spillovers in Europe: A Patent Citations Analysis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 531-545, December.
    19. Michele Cincera & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2001. "International R&D spillovers: a survey," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 169(169), pages 3-31.
    20. Quah, Danny T, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
    21. Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & John van Reenen, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 529-554.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    R&D spillovers Absorptive capacity Knowledge production function Patents Citations O31 O33 L6;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing


    Access and download statistics


    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:inecon:v:76:y:2008:i:2:p:155-165. 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: .

    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.