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Indigenous and Foreign Innovation Efforts and Drivers of Technological Upgrading: Evidence from China

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  • Fu, Xiaolan
  • Gong, Yundan

Abstract

Summary This paper explores the role of indigenous and foreign innovation efforts in technological upgrading in developing countries, taking into account sectoral specificities in technical change. Using a Chinese firm-level panel dataset covering 2001-05, the paper decomposes productivity growth into technical change and efficiency improvement and examines the impact of indigenous and foreign innovation efforts on these changes. Indigenous firms are found to be the leading force on the technological frontier in the low- and medium-technology industries, while foreign-invested firms enjoy a clear lead in the high-technology sector. Collective indigenous R&D activities at the industry level are found to be the major driver of technology upgrading of indigenous firms that push out the technology frontier. While foreign investment appears to contribute to static industry capabilities, R&D activities of foreign-invested firms have exerted a significant negative effect on the technical change of local firms over the sample period.

Suggested Citation

  • Fu, Xiaolan & Gong, Yundan, 2011. "Indigenous and Foreign Innovation Efforts and Drivers of Technological Upgrading: Evidence from China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1213-1225, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:7:p:1213-1225
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