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International R&D spillovers in emerging markets: The impact of trade and foreign direct investment

While economic theory predicts that growth in developing countries will gain significantly from technology spillovers, the empirical evidence on this issue remains relatively scarce. The present study focuses on a panel of 27 transition and 20 developed countries between 1990 and 2006 and uses the latest developments in panel unit root and cointegration techniques to disentangle the effects of international spillovers via inflows of trade and FDI on total factor productivity (TFP). The findings show that imports remain the main channel of diffusion for both sets of countries, while FDI, although statistically significant, has a lower impact on productivity of the recipients. The domestic R&D capital stock plays an active role in Western Europe while in the Eastern part it is less significant owing to lower levels, transitional disinvestment and relative obsolescence. Human capital affects TFP directly as a factor of production as well as indirectly by enhancing a country's absorptive capacity. In aggregate, the results show that transition countries from Eastern Europe and Central Asia seem to enjoy bigger productivity gains from the international diffusion process than their Western counterparts.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development.

Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 591-623

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:19:y:2010:i:4:p:591-623
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