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No Simple Relationship between Technological Improvements and Employment Generation in a Large Developing Country like China: Thoughts Stimulated by Sjöholm and Lundin


  • Changwen Zhao

    (School of Business Management, Sichuan University, No. 29 Wangjiang Road, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, 610064.)


Fredrik Sjöholm and Nannan Lundin (this issue) have found that China's science and technology (S&T) activities had no effect on employment growth. I disagree with their conclusion and attribute it to the neglect of important factors like the S&T upgrading by small firms, the spillover effects from S&T activities, differences across industries, and differences in the stage of economic development. I used macroeconomic and cross-regional data in China to estimate the effect of technology development on job creation and found that technology innovation did have a positive impact on employment in the eastern region of China. This suggests that a positive relationship between technological improvement and employment creation is reliably seen only after the economy has reached a middle-level of economic development. (c) 2010 The Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Changwen Zhao, 2010. "No Simple Relationship between Technological Improvements and Employment Generation in a Large Developing Country like China: Thoughts Stimulated by Sjöholm and Lundin," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 9(2), pages 35-43, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:asiaec:v:9:y:2010:i:2:p:35-43

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    Cited by:

    1. Claudio Petti & Lauretta Rubini & Silvia Podetti, 2017. "Government Support and R&D Investment Effectiveness in Chinese SMEs: A Complex Relationship," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 16(1), pages 201-226, Winter/Sp.

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