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Wake Up and Smell the Ginseng: The Rise of Incremental Innovation in Low-Wage Countries

  • Puga, Diego
  • Trefler, Daniel

Increasingly, a small number of low-wage countries such as China and India are involved in innovation - not the `big ideas', but the constant incremental innovations needed to stay ahead in business. We provide some evidence of this and develop a model in which there is a transition from old-style product-cycle trade to trade involving incremental innovation in low-wage countries. We explain why levels of involvement in innovation vary across low-wage countries and even across firms in each low-wage country. We then draw out the implications of this for the location of production, trade, capital flows, earnings and living standards.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5286.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5286
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  1. Ethier, W.J. & Markusen, J.R., 1993. "Multinational Firms, Technology Diffusion and Trade," ISER Discussion Paper 0303, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  2. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
  6. Puga, Diego & Trefler, Daniel, 2002. "Knowledge Creation and Control in Organizations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3516, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. John Sutton, 2004. "The auto-component supply chain in China and India: a benchmark study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2292, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2003. "Globalization and the Empowerment of Talent," Discussion Papers in Economics 268, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Elhanan Helpman & Gene M. Grossman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," NBER Working Papers 9403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 2002. "Outsourcing Versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium," CEPR Discussion Papers 3647, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1989. "Endogenous Product Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1991. "Quality Ladders and Product Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 557-86, May.
  15. Pol Antras, 2004. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," 2004 Meeting Papers 19, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2005, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  17. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, June.
  18. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600, 05.
  19. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
  20. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  21. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and the World Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 253-66, April.
  22. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
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