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Assessing the Role of Technology Adoption in China's Growth Performance

  • Nadja Wirz

    (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland)

Registered author(s):

    China has experienced a period of tremendous economic growth in recent years. In an attempt to explain this development, several existing growth-accounting studies reveal that impressively high rates of productivity growth have been at the heart of China's performance. This study investigates to what extent these productivity increases can be explained by technology-adoption theory. In less developed countries, the key element behind technological progress is technology adoption, the process of copying technological knowledge invented throughout the world. To uncover a measure of China's technological advances, the paper constructs a hybrid of some prominent technology-adoption models and calibrates it to reasonable parameter values. The calibrated version of the model is then combined with Chinese economic data. For the period 1978-2005, the analysis finds that the Chinese performance can be explained to a surprisingly large extent by the suggested technology-adoption framework. It can account for roughly 80% of China's productivity gains.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/eprn_epru/Workings_Papers/wp-08-06.pdf
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    Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 2008-06.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:08-06
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    1. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
    2. Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
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    6. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gurkaynak, 2001. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer and Weil Seriously," NBER Working Papers 8365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sadik, Jacques, 2008. "Technology adoption, convergence, and divergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 338-355, February.
    8. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Jaypee Sevilla, 2002. "Technological Diffusion, Conditional Convergence, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 8713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," Discussion Papers 07-006, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    10. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, June.
    11. Dekle, Robert & Vandenbroucke, Guillaume, 2012. "A quantitative analysis of China's structural transformation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 119-135.
    12. Chong-En Bai & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Yingyi Qian, 2006. "The Return to Capital in China," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(2), pages 61-102.
    13. William Easterly & Robert King & Ross Levine & Sergio Rebelo, 1994. "Policy, Technology Adoption, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4681, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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