IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Perfecting the Catching-up: The Case of Taiwan's Motorcycle Industry


  • Sato, Yukihito


The final stage of the catching-up process has formidable hurdles. This paper examinesthe case of Taiwan’s motorcycle industry and shows how latecomers overcame thehurdles. In the early 1990s, the two largest motorcycle makers in Taiwan, Sanyang andKwang Yang, had completed the catching-up process and became independent fromHonda, on which they had technologically depended since the early 1960s. The requisitefor independence was acquiring the capacity for product innovation. The two assemblerscould cultivate technological capacity by investing abundant resources, which theyaccumulated in the protected market. It should be noted that although the market wasprotected and highly concentrated, it was also very competitive. Another condition wasthe solid local suppliers of parts and components. The local suppliers had also grownunder the government’s industrial policies. However, their development beyond imitatorscan be attributed to their own initiatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Sato, Yukihito, 2009. "Perfecting the Catching-up: The Case of Taiwan's Motorcycle Industry," IDE Discussion Papers 195, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper195

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2009
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicholas Bloom & Mirko Draca & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Trade Induced Technical Change? The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation, IT and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(1), pages 87-117.
    2. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 2010. "Globalization and Innovation in Emerging Markets," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 194-226, April.
    3. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
    4. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
    5. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1181-1222, December.
    6. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-1152, December.
      • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
    8. Jonathan M. Karpoff, 2001. "Public versus Private Initiative in Arctic Exploration: The Effects of Incentives and Organizational Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 38-78, February.
    9. Michael Greenstone & Richard Hornbeck & Enrico Moretti, 2008. "Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers: Evidence from Million Dollar Plants," Working Paper series 36_08, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    10. Brambilla, Irene, 2009. "Multinationals, technology, and the introduction of varieties of goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 89-101, September.
    11. Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser & William R. Kerr, 2010. "What Causes Industry Agglomeration? Evidence from Coagglomeration Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1195-1213, June.
    12. repec:rim:rimwps:36-08 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Taiwan; Motorcycle industry; Catching-up; Motorcycles;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment
    • N85 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper195. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Minami Tosa). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.