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Knowledge Flows, Structure of Innovative Activity and International Specialization

This paper is a first attempt towards the full inclusion of a group of variables greatly studied in the current literature on innovation and industrial economics -such as knowledge links and the structure of competition and collaboration in a sector -into the determinants of the international technological specialization of countries. In particular, the major role of knowledge flows across sectors indicates that knowledge is a key factor affecting specialization and that the currently used notion of inter-sectoral spillovers has to be disentangled in a more detailed way and given a more precise meaning. It also points to that fact that a lot of theses knowledge flows are captured within a country. In particular this paper uses international trade, patent and citation data at a very fine level of disaggregation. It, first, shows that the relationship between international technological and trade specialisation of countries is positive and statistically significant. This extends previous results to a finer level of disaggregation and to a more recent time span. Secondly the determinants of technological specialisation are analysed. In particular the focus has been placed on the knowledge connections among sectors (in terms of patent citations), some key structural features of technological classes related to Schumpeterian competition (such as the concentration and asymmetries in innovative activities and the emergence of new innovators) and the relevance of networks in terms of technological co-operation. These variables have in general positive effects on the international technological specialisation of countries and important differences across sectors in the relevance of the factors affecting international specialisation emerge.

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Paper provided by KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series KITeS Working Papers with number 119.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2000
Date of revision: Nov 2000
Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:wp119
Note: This paper is part of the Research Project: Sectoral Systems in Europe - Innovation, Competitiveness and Growth (ESSY). Third Research and Technological Framework Programme, Targeted Socio-Economic Research, TSER
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  1. Antoine Magnier & Joël Toujas-Bernate, 1994. "Technology and trade: Empirical evidences for the major five industrialized countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 494-520, September.
  2. Andrea Brasili & Paolo Epifani & Rodolfo Helg, 2000. "On the Dynamics of Trade Patterns," International Trade 0004006, EconWPA.
  3. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1999. "Technological entry, exit and survival: an empirical analysis of patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 643-660, August.
  4. Giovanni Amendola & Giovanni Dosi & Erasmo Papagni, 1993. "The dynamics of international competitiveness," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 451-471, September.
  5. Bent Dalum & Keld Laursen & Gert Villumsen, 1998. "Structural Change in OECD Export Specialisation Patterns: de-specialisation and 'stickiness'," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 423-443.
  6. Breschi, Stefano & Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 2000. "Technological Regimes and Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 388-410, April.
  7. M. Amiti, 1997. "Specialisation patterns in Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20321, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1997. "Technological Regimes and Sectoral Patterns of Innovative Activities," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 83-117.
  9. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1996. "Schumpeterian patterns of innovation are technology-specific," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 451-478, May.
  10. Keld Laursen & Ina Drejer, 1997. "Do Inter-sectoral Linkages Matter for International Export Specialisation?," DRUID Working Papers 97-15, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  11. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 2000. "Knowledge, Innovation Activities and Industrial Evolution," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 289-313, June.
  12. Patel, Pari, 1995. "Localised Production of Technology for Global Markets," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 141-53, February.
  13. Archibugi, Daniele & Pianta, Mario, 1994. "Aggregate Convergence and Sectoral Specialization in Innovation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 17-33, March.
  14. Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
  15. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi & Peretto, Pietro, 1997. "Persistence of innovative activities, sectoral patterns of innovation and international technological specialization," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 801-826, October.
  16. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  17. Dosi, Giovanni, 1997. "Opportunities, Incentives and the Collective Patterns of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1530-47, September.
  18. Cantwell, John, 1995. "The Globalisation of Technology: What Remains of the Product Cycle Model?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 155-74, February.
  19. Malerba, Franco, 1992. "Learning by Firms and Incremental Technical Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 845-59, July.
  20. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1995. "Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 47-65, February.
  21. Archibugi, Daniele & Pianta, Mario, 1992. "Specialization and size of technological activities in industrial countries: The analysis of patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 79-93, February.
  22. Scherer, F M, 1982. "Inter-Industry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 627-34, November.
  23. Malerba, Franco, 2002. "Sectoral systems of innovation and production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 247-264, February.
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