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Exploring factors affecting international technological specialization: the role of knowledge flows and the structure of innovative activity


  • Franco Malerba


  • Fabio Montobbio



We define international technological specialisation (ITS) as the technological performance of a country in a specific technology relative to its overall international technological performance. This paper uses patent applications and patent citations at the European Patent Office for five countries (US, UK, Italy, France, Germany) from 1989 to 1994 for 135 technological classes in three industrial sectors (Chemicals, Electronics and Machinery). It shows that ITS is significantly persistent and is affected by the direction of cross-sectoral knowledge spillovers within countries. In addition, the paper shows that the concentration of innovative activities, the emergence of new innovators and technological co-operation positively affect ITS. Some differences across sectors emerge. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Franco Malerba & Fabio Montobbio, 2003. "Exploring factors affecting international technological specialization: the role of knowledge flows and the structure of innovative activity," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 411-434, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:13:y:2003:i:4:p:411-434
    DOI: 10.1007/s00191-003-0162-z

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