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Absorptive capability and economic growth: how do countries catch-up?


  • Mark Rogers


This paper investigates empirically the importance of technological catch-up in explaining productivity growth in a sample of countries since the 1960s. New proxies for a country's absorptive capability--based on data for students studying abroad, telecommunications and publications--are tested in regression models. The results indicate that absorptive capability is a factor in explaining growth, with the most robust finding that countries with relatively high numbers of students studying science or engineering abroad experience faster subsequent growth. However, the paper also indicates that the significance of coefficients varies across specifications and samples, suggesting caution in focusing on individual results. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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  • Mark Rogers, 2004. "Absorptive capability and economic growth: how do countries catch-up?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 577-596, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:28:y:2004:i:4:p:577-596

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Walker, James R, 1995. "The Effect of Public Policies on Recent Swedish Fertility Behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 8(3), pages 223-251, August.
    2. Hotz, V-J & Kerman, J-A & Willis, R-J, 1996. "The Economics of Fertility in Developed Countries : A Survey," Papers 96-09, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    3. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
    4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    5. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2002. "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 667-682.
    6. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
    7. Namkee Ahn & Pedro Mira, "undated". "Job bust, baby bust: The Spanish case," Studies on the Spanish Economy 12, FEDEA.
    8. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-1441, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:mes:emfitr:v:52:y:2016:i:4:p:904-922 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Andreja Benkovic & Juan Felipe Mejía, 2008. "Tourism as a driver of economic development: The Colombian experience," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 010630, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
    3. Perez Caldentey, Esteban & Ali, Anesa, 2010. "Growth and convergence/divergence in productivity under balance-of-payments constraint," MPRA Paper 20056, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Polterovich, Victor & Tonis, Alexander, 2014. "Absorptive Capacity and Innovative Capability: An Approach to Estimation," MPRA Paper 56855, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Yuichi Furukawa, 2015. "Leapfrogging cycles in international competition," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 59(2), pages 401-433, June.
    6. Sabina Silajdzic & Eldin Mehic, 2016. "Absorptive Capabilities, FDI, and Economic Growth in Transition Economies," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(4), pages 904-922, April.
    7. Alexiadis, Stilianos & Tomkins, Judith, 2010. "Technology adoption and club convergence," MPRA Paper 21260, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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