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Convergence in Global High Technology? / Konvergenz in der globalen Hochtechnologie?: A Decomposition and Specialisation. Analysis for Advanced Countries / Eine Dekompositions- und Spezialisierungsanalyse fortgeschrittener Volkswirtschaften


  • Grupp Hariolf
  • Jungmittag Andre

    (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), Breslauer Str. 48, D-76139 Karlsruhe)


This paper investigates whether patterns of technological specialisation of advanced countries change over a period of time in which globalisation in technology occurs. The theoretical analysis of this question is based on models of new growth and trade theory - especially a model by Grossman/ Helpman (1991) - as well as on clues from evolutionary economics. The empirical analysis is divided into three parts. First, based on the patent applications in 42 R&D-intensive product groups of ten advanced countries, structural decomposition analysis is used to investigate the effects that determine growth in inventive activity. Secondly, the concepts of β- and σ-despecialisation (or specialisation), which are very similar to the concepts of β- and σ-convergence (or divergence), are applied to the same data to investigate whether the countries are converging in technology. Thirdly, for a longer but less disaggregated time series, the impact of the adaptation of technical knowledge on foreign product trade is examined by a multivariate autoregressive model (transfer function model). Taking all results together, evidence points to rather stable specialisations whereby the structural effects are not predominant. However, results indicating β-despecialisation also show that the majority of national innovation systems are now moving towards an average specialisation. Yet, country-specific economic structures seem to remain more important as global changes in technology, when their appropriation for international trade is concerned.

Suggested Citation

  • Grupp Hariolf & Jungmittag Andre, 1999. "Convergence in Global High Technology? / Konvergenz in der globalen Hochtechnologie?: A Decomposition and Specialisation. Analysis for Advanced Countries / Eine Dekompositions- und Spezialisierungsana," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 218(5-6), pages 552-573, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:218:y:1999:i:5-6:p:552-573

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