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Regional Skill Structure and the Diffusion of Technology

  • J. Mullen
  • Stephen Nord
  • Martin Williams
Registered author(s):

    This paper examines the relationship between the skill structure of states’ manufacturing sectors and technological change. Various measures of technological change are utilized including private and public R&D stocks, high-tech capital, recent capital, and the spatial spillover effects attributed to R&D stocks. We analyze the impact of changes in technology on spatial wage-bill shares, utilizing panel data for the 48 contiguous states over three sequential five-year periods. Overall, the results show a positive connection between skill upgrading and technological change. In other words, we find that states that adopt new technologies have more skilled workforces. Of particular interest, we find that publicly funded R&D stocks from neighboring states play a significant role in skill upgrading. The general implication of this finding is that geographic proximity is key to diffusing government-funded technology that enhances state economic performance. Our results strengthen the case for regional cooperation among states in developing policies to attract both private and public R&D capital. Copyright IAES 2005

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11293-005-1649-9
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    Article provided by Springer & International Atlantic Economic Society in its journal Atlantic Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 115-131

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:33:y:2005:i:1:p:115-131
    DOI: 10.1007/s11293-005-1649-9
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    1. Nadiri, M. Ishaq & Mamuneas, Theofanis P., 1991. "The Effects of Public Infrastructure and R&D Capital on the Cost Structure and Performance of U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 91-57, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    2. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244.
    3. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Machin, Stephen, 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," Working Paper Series 486, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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    8. Alicia H. Munnell & Leah M. Cook, 1990. "How does public infrastructure affect regional economic performance?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 11-33.
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    13. William H. Lazonick, 1997. "Organizational Learning and International Competition: The Skill-Base Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_201, Levy Economics Institute.
    14. Robert Anderton & Paul Brenton & Eva Oscarsson, 2002. "What’s trade got to do with it? Relative demand for skills within Swedish manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 138(4), pages 629-651, December.
    15. Smith, Pamela J., 1999. "Do Knowledge Spillovers Contribute to U.S. State Output and Growth?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 331-353, March.
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