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Technology transfer and economic growth in developing countries: an econometric analysis


  • Valerio Crispolti

    () (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)

  • Daniela Marconi

    () (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)


In this paper we investigate two potential channels of international technology transfer towards developing countries: trade and foreign direct investments. We study the extent to which, through these channels, research and development expenditures (R&D) performed by advanced countries affect total factor productivity (TFP) levels in a panel of 45 developing countries over the period 1980-2000. Paying particular attention to the potential spillovers effects stemming from human capital, we estimate a TFP equation using the FMOLS technique. Our findings show that both channels induce substantial technology transfer across countries. In addition each developing country, for a given amount of foreign R&D, enjoys bigger spillovers the higher its educational level.

Suggested Citation

  • Valerio Crispolti & Daniela Marconi, 2005. "Technology transfer and economic growth in developing countries: an econometric analysis," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 564, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_564_05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe De La Potterie & Frank Lichtenberg, 2001. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Transfer Technology Across Borders?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 490-497, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sallahuddin Hassan & Zalila Othman & Mohd Zaini Abd Karim, 2011. "Private and Public Investment in Malaysia: A Panel Time-Series Analysis," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 1(4), pages 199-210.
    2. Krammer, Marius Sorin, 2008. "International R&D spillovers in transition countries: the impact of trade and foreign direct investment," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 446, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Cavallaro, Eleonora & Mulino, Marcella, 2008. "Technological diffusion and dynamic gains from trade," MPRA Paper 13793, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Raffaello Bronzini & Paolo Piselli, 2006. "Determinants of long-run regional productivity: the role of R&D, human capital and public infrastructure," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 597, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Eleonora Cavallaro & Marcella Mulino, 2008. "Vertical Innovation and Catching-Up: Implications of EU Integration for CEECs-5," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 14(3), pages 265-279, August.
    6. Bronzini, Raffaello & Piselli, Paolo, 2009. "Determinants of long-run regional productivity with geographical spillovers: The role of R&D, human capital and public infrastructure," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 187-199, March.
    7. Hübler, Michael, 2009. "Avoiding the trap: the dynamic interaction of North-South capital mobility and technology diffusion," Kiel Working Papers 1477, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Krammer, Sorin M.S., 2015. "Do good institutions enhance the effect of technological spillovers on productivity? Comparative evidence from developed and transition economies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 133-154.
    9. Raffaello Bronzini & Paolo Piselli, 2005. "What determines productivity level in the long run? Evidence from Italians regions," ERSA conference papers ersa05p267, European Regional Science Association.
    10. repec:kap:iaecre:v:14:y:2008:i:3:p:265-279 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Hübler, Michael & Lontzek, Thomas S., 2009. "The optimal transfer of capital and embodied technologies to developing countries," Kiel Working Papers 1478, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    12. Eleonora Cavallaro & Marcella Mulino, 2007. "Vertical Innovation and Catching Up: Implications for Trade and Growth," Working Papers 75, Sapienza University of Rome, CIDEI.

    More about this item


    Technology transfer; Economic growth; Trade; FDI;

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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