Learning and Dynamic Comparative Advantage: Lessons from Austria's Postwar Pattern of Growth for Eastern Europe
This paper looks at Austria's pattern of development and its lessons for Eastern Europe. Austria's development path is characterized by two features. In the post-war era Austria was among the countries with the fastest convergence rate. At the same time Austria's movement up the technological ladder was slow compared to other European countries. The paper uses insights from recent dynamic theories of trade to explain these two stylized facts. It is argued that resource endowments, international knowledge spillovers, learning, and government policy have contributed to Austria's post war growth and the evolution of its pattern of trade over time. The paper looks at two lessons for Eastern Europe. First, Austria as a possible economic case for a gradual approach to economic reform. Second, in light of the Austrian experience a recent industrial and trade policy proposal for Eastern Europe is discussed.
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