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Do Export and Technological Specialisation Patterns Co-evolve in Terms of Convergence or Divergence? Evidence From 19 OECD Countries, 1971-1991

  • Keld Laursen

Several researchers looking at the development of international export specialisation patterns have shown that there is a general tendency for OECD countries to de-specialise. This finding is in contrast to findings made by other authors, working on technological specialisation. These authors found increasing technological specialisation. The first aim of this paper is to investigate whether these contradictory findings are due to a real world phenomenon, or whether the explanation is purely technical, by comparing the development of export specialisation to specialisation in terms of US patents, using the same methodology, and level of aggregation. The second aim is to analyse the extent to which countries and sectors display stable specialisation patterns over time, also both in terms of exports and in terms of technology. The paper confirms that the OECD countries did in general de-specialise in terms of export specialisation. The evidence is less conclusive with regard to technological specialisation, as the results are mixed in the sense that just about half of the countries tend to increase in terms of the level of specialisation, while the other half tend to engage in de-specialisation. In terms of country and sectoral stability of specialisation patterns, it can be concluded that both trade specialisation and technological specialisation patterns are path-dependent in the sense that all country and sectoral patterns are correlated between seven three year intervals, within the period in question. In comparison however, trade specialisation patters are more stable than are technological specialisation patterns.

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Paper provided by DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies in its series DRUID Working Papers with number 98-18.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:98-18
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.druid.dk/

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  1. Langlois, Richard N & Foss, Nicolai J, 1999. "Capabilities and Governance: The Rebirth of Production in the Theory of Economic Organization," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 201-18.
  2. Nicolai J. Foss, 1997. "The Resource-Based Perspective An Assessment and Diagnosis of Problems," DRUID Working Papers 97-1, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  3. Esben Sloth Andersen & Anne K. Jensen & Lars Madsen & Martin Jørgensen, 1996. "The Nelson and Winter Models RevisitedPrototypes for Computer-Based Reconstruction of Schumpeterian Competition," DRUID Working Papers 96-5, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  4. Keld Laursen & Ina Drejer, 1999. "Do Inter-Sectoral Linkages Matter for International Export Specialisation?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 311-330.
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  6. Esben Sloth Andersen, 1996. "The Evolution of an Industrial Sector with a Varying Degree of Roundaboutness of Production," DRUID Working Papers 96-13, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  7. Nicolai J. Foss, 1996. "Firms, Incomplete Contracts and Organizational Learning," DRUID Working Papers 96-2, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  8. Nicolai J. Foss, 1997. "Incomplete Contracts and Economic Organization Brian Loasby and the Theory of the Firm," DRUID Working Papers 97-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  9. Nicolai J. Foss & Jens Frøslev Christensen, 1996. "A Process Approach to Corporate Coherence," DRUID Working Papers 96-7, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  10. Kirsten Foss & Nicolai J. Foss, 1998. "The Market Process and The Firm Toward a Dynamic Property Rights Perspective," DRUID Working Papers 98-14, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  11. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  12. Nicolai J. Foss, 1996. "Thorstein B. Veblen Precursor of the Competence-Based Approach to the Firm," DRUID Working Papers 96-15, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  13. Marco Valente, 1998. "Technological Competition a Qualitative Product Life Cycle," DRUID Working Papers 98-6, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  14. Dieter Ernst, 1997. "High-Tech Competition Puzzles. How Globalization Affects Firm Behavior and Market Structure in the Electronics Industry," DRUID Working Papers 97-9, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  15. Ina Drejer & Frank Skov Kristensen & Keld Laursen, 1997. "Studies of Clusters as a Basis for Industrial and Technology Policy in the Danish Economy," DRUID Working Papers 97-14, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  16. Dieter Ernst, 1998. "Catching-Up, Crisis and Industrial Upgrading. Evolutionary Aspects of Technological Learning in Korea's Electronics Industry," DRUID Working Papers 98-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  17. Esben Sloth Andersen, 1998. "The Dynamics of the Organisation of Industry," DRUID Working Papers 98-13, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  18. Marco Valente, 1998. "Laboratory for Simulation Development," DRUID Working Papers 98-5, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  19. Peter Maskell, 1996. "Localised Low-tech Learning in the Furniture Industry," DRUID Working Papers 96-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  20. Bent Dalum & Keld Laursen & Gert Villumsen, 1996. "The Long Term Development of OECD Export Specialisation Patterns: De-specialisation and "Stickiness"," DRUID Working Papers 96-14, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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