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Technology and Trade


  • Gene M. Grossman
  • Elhanan Helpman


We survey research on the relationship between technology and trade. We begin with the old literature, which treated the state of technology as exogenous and asked how changes in technology affect the trade pattern and welfare. Recent research has attempted to endogenize technological progress which results either from learning- by-doing or from investments in research and development. This allows one to examine not only how technology affects trade, but also how trade affects the evolution of technology. We emphasize the parallels between the models with learning-by-doing and those with explicit R&D and highlight the role that the geographic extent of knowledge spillovers plays in mediating the relationship between trade and technological progress.

Suggested Citation

  • Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Technology and Trade," NBER Working Papers 4926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4926
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Deardorff, Alan V, 1992. "Welfare Effects of Global Patent Protection," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 35-51, February.
    2. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ciccone, Antonio & Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1996. "Start-up costs and pecuniary externalities as barriers to economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 33-59, April.
    4. Dinopoulos, Elias & Oehmke, James F. & Segerstrom, Paul S., 1993. "High-technology-industry trade and investment : The role of factor endowments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 49-71, February.
    5. Davis, Donald R., 1995. "Intra-industry trade: A Heckscher-Ohlin-Ricardo approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 201-226, November.
    6. Brezis, Elise S & Krugman, Paul R & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1993. "Leapfrogging in International Competition: A Theory of Cycles in National Technological Leadership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1211-1219, December.
    7. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & Pierre Mohnen, 1994. "International R & D Spillovers between U.S. and Japanese R & D intensive sectors," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9406, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
    8. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1993. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 302-304, March.
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    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General


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