IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do Trade Patterns and Technology Flows Affect Productivity Growth?


  • Keller, Wolfgang


This article presents a model suggesting that the pattern of a country's intermediate goods imports affects its level of productivity because a country that imports such goods primarily from technological leaders receives more technology than a country that imports primarily from follower countries. The importance of trade patterns in determining technology flows is quantified using industry-level data for machinery goods imports and productivity from eight member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development between 1970 and 1991. Three conclusions emerge from this work. First, the eight countries studied appear to benefit more from domestic research and development (R&D) than from R&D of the average foreign country. Second, conditional on technology diffusion from domestic R&D, a country's import composition matters only if it is strongly biased toward or away from technological leaders. Third, differences in technology inflows related to the pattern of imports explain about 20 percent of the total variation in productivity growth. The implications of these findings for developing countries are discussed. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Keller, Wolfgang, 2000. "Do Trade Patterns and Technology Flows Affect Productivity Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 17-47, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:14:y:2000:i:1:p:17-47

    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:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    2. Coe, David T. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "International R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 859-887, May.
    3. Keller, Wolfgang, 1998. "Are international R&D spillovers trade-related?: Analyzing spillovers among randomly matched trade partners," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1469-1481, September.
    4. Nadiri, M.I., 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," Working Papers 93-31, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    5. Rivera-Batiz, Luis A. & Romer, Paul M., 1991. "International trade with endogenous technological change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 971-1001, May.
    6. Frank Lichtenberg & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 1996. "International R&D Spillovers: A Re-Examination," NBER Working Papers 5668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 531-555.
    8. M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Coe, David T & Helpman, Elhanan & Hoffmaister, Alexander W, 1997. "North-South R&D Spillovers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 134-149, January.
    10. Park, Walter G, 1995. "International R&D Spillovers and OECD Economic Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(4), pages 571-591, October.
    11. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & Pierre Mohnen, 1994. "International R & D Spillovers between U.S. and Japanese R & D intensive sectors," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9406, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
    12. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation


    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:17-47. 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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.