Classification of Industries by Level of Technology: An Appraisal and some Implications
Modern growth theory acknowledges that a country's economic prosperity depends in large part on its capacity for technological innovation. Empirical evidence, however, supports the view that not all sectors are equally innovative. As a result, it seems desirable from a public policy perspective to identify and promote sectors displaying both a high innovation rate and, in an increasingly competitive international economy, a high degree of international competitiveness. It is frequently argued that the high-tech industry sectors, in contrast to low-tech sectors, satisfy both conditions, with the clear implication that public policy should be directed to enhancing the performance of high-tech sectors. This approach raises at least two important issues. The first is whether such classifications can be meaningfully constructed given both the intractability of the concepts involved and the difficulties in data collection. A second issue is the basic assumption that policy emphasis should be placed on technology-intensive industries because they have a greater impact on growth. In this paper, we argue that while it may be possible to construct indices of technological intensity that are useful for some purposes, the ones that are currently proposed do not, in fact, address questions of economic growth and firm performance very well. In part, this is a reflection of the technicalities involved in formulating and operationalising the indices, but it also reflects problems in the underlying premise, namely technology-intensive sectors are more growth-inducing than low-tech sectors. We call, therefore, for the adoption of a more sophisticated and detailed approach that would provide a sensible classification of industries and new policy insights.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 18 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CPRO20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/CPRO20|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:promet:v:18:y:2000:i:4:p:417-436. 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: (Chris Longhurst)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.