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Technological Diffusion and Dynamic Gains from Trade

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  • Eleonora Cavallaro
  • Marcella Mulino

Abstract

We consider a technologically backward country and analyse the implications on competitiveness and long-run growth of the quality content of traded goods. We build an endogenous growth model where quality improvements stem from research activity taking place in the R&D sector, and where the relative quality content of goods matter for export and import demand functions. We show that the possibility of an optimal growth with a balanced current account and no adverse terms-of-trade effects is closely related to the evolution of the country’s technological distance with respect to the trade partner: with an unfavourable quality-dynamics the country cannot engage successfully in “non-price†competition. Thus, long-run growth is coupled with an adverse export to import ratio, and a balanced trade requires a continuous offsetting fall in relative prices, either through devaluations or wage deflations. We then allow for international knowledge spillovers that increase the productivity of labour resources devoted to research in a way which is proportional to the technological distance between the countries. We show that the greater the country’s ability to absorb foreign knowledge and improve upon foreign technologies, the greater the gains in competitiveness, and the benefits to long-run growth. A numerical simulation confirms our findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Eleonora Cavallaro & Marcella Mulino, 2009. "Technological Diffusion and Dynamic Gains from Trade," Working Papers 117, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sap:wpaper:wp117
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keller, Wolfgang, 2000. "Do Trade Patterns and Technology Flows Affect Productivity Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 17-47, January.
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    7. Edwards, Sebastian, 1998. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 383-398, March.
    8. Eleonora Cavallaro & Marcella Mulino, 2008. "Vertical Innovation and Catching-Up: Implications of EU Integration for CEECs-5," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 14(3), pages 265-279, August.
    9. Miguel León-Ledesma, 2005. "Exports, Product Differentiation and Knowledge Spillovers," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 363-379, October.
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    14. Robert A. Pollak, 1971. "Additive Utility Functions and Linear Engel Curves," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(4), pages 401-414.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Vertical innovation; Technological change and catching up; Economic growth of open economies.;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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