IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

International Knowledge Flows and Economic Performance: A Review of the Evidence


  • Navaretti, Giorgio Barba
  • Tarr, David G


An empirical analysis of the microeconomic links between trade and knowledge diffusion is useful for singling out some of the key predictions of the theory of endogenous growth in open economies. This literature postulates that total factor productivity is higher when trade gives countries access to a wider or more sophisticated range of technologies. The articles reviewed here find considerable evidence that imported technologies raise total factor productivity in importing countries, particularly developing countries and particularly when technologies are acquired by way of imports of intermediate goods. They also provide some support for the argument that exports and foreign direct investment are channels for learning. Although access to foreign technologies has a positive impact on developing countries’ total factor productivity, overall these countries are shown to purchase older and simpler machines than industrial countries. Relative factor and machinery costs and skill and technology endowments affect the choice of imported technologies. However, government attempts to limit or guide the selection of technologies are likely to have a negative effect on growth because they discourage producers from purchasing the most appropriate and efficient machines. Rather, policies aimed at promoting technological development should strengthen the absorptive capacity of importing countries and address the complementarity between human and physical capital in a broader context.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Navaretti, Giorgio Barba & Tarr, David G, 2000. "International Knowledge Flows and Economic Performance: A Review of the Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 1-15, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:14:y:2000:i:1:p:1-15

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations


    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:oup:wbecrv:v:14:y:2000:i:1:p:1-15. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.