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Inventing together: exploring the nature of international knowledge spillovers in Latin America

  • Fabio Montobbio


  • Valerio Sterzi


This paper studies the nature, sources and determinants of international patenting activity in Latin American countries (LACs) and examines the extent to which LACs benefit from R&D that is performed in the G-5 countries (France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States). By using patents and patent citations at the United States Patent and Trademark Office we trace intrasectoral knowledge flows from G-5 countries to LACs. We study the impact of three channels of spillovers: pure spillovers, patent citations related spillovers, and face-to-face contact spillovers. Our results, based on data for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, suggest that international knowledge spillovers from the G-5 countries are a significant determinant of inventive activity over the period 1988-2003. In particular we find that the stock of ideas produced in the US has a strong impact on the international patenting activity of these countries. Moreover controlling for US-driven pure spillover effects, bilateral patent citations and face-to-face relationships between inventors are both important additional mechanisms of knowledge transmission. Some of our results suggest that the latter mechanism is more important than the former.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Evolutionary Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 53-89

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:21:y:2011:i:1:p:53-89
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