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Growth Accounting for a Follower-Economy in a World of Ideas : The Example of Singapore

  • Kong Weng Ho

    (SMU)

  • Hian Teck Hoon

In this paper, we take another approach to accounting for the sources of Singapores economic growth by being explicit about the channels through which Singapore, as a technological follower, benefits from international R&D spillovers. Taking into account the channels through which technology developed in the G5 countries diffuses to technological followers, we show that 57.5 percent of Singapores real GDP per worker growth rate over the 1970-2002 period is due to multifactor productivity growth. In particular, about 52 percent of the growth is accounted for by an increase in the effectiveness of accessing ideas developed by the technology leaders through improvement in our educational quality and increase in machinery imports and foreign direct investment from the G5 countries. We also find that capital accumulation that takes the form of imports of machinery as well as foreign direct investment from the G5 countries enhances the effectiveness of technology transfer thus raising the rate of return to capital. Compared to the rate of return to capital inferred from the traditional Solow growth model with purely exogenous technological progress of 10.8 percent, taking into account the technology transfer channel raises the implied rate of return to 13 percent.

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Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Development Economics Working Papers with number 22435.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:eab:develo:22435
Contact details of provider: Postal: JG Crawford Building #13, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Australian National University, ACT 0200
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  2. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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  4. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Alwyn Young, 1992. "A Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change in Hong Kong and Singapore," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 13-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Kee Hiau Looi, 2004. "Estimating Productivity When Primal and Dual TFP Accounting Fail: An Illustration Using Singapore's Industries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-40, October.
  16. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, June.
  17. Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The Shape of Production Functions and the Direction of Technical Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 517-549, May.
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