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High-tech exports from developing countries: A symptom of technology spurts or statistical illusion?

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  • Martin Srholec

    (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)

Abstract

Specialization in high-tech products is frequently used to capture technology intensity of exports. The literature suggests that developing countries are increasingly becoming exporters of high-tech products, and some may even be among the most deeply specialized countries in the field of high-tech exports. The paper scrutinizes the relevance of the taxonomies that classify exports by technological intensity in this context. It is shown that specialization in high-tech exports typically does not appear in tandem with indigenous technological capabilities in developing countries. The analysis of intra-product imports suggests that the bulk of high-tech exports can actually be attributed to the effect of increasingly international fragmentation of production systems in electronics on trade statistics. It is confirmed in an econometric framework that while domestic technological capabilities have some influence on export performance in electronics, it is the propensity to import electronics components that accounts for by far the largest proportion of cross-country differences in specialization in electronics exports. The paper concludes with some implications for policy and future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Srholec, 2005. "High-tech exports from developing countries: A symptom of technology spurts or statistical illusion?," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20051215, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tik:inowpp:20051215
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lectard, Pauline & Rougier, Eric, 2018. "Can Developing Countries Gain from Defying Comparative Advantage? Distance to Comparative Advantage, Export Diversification and Sophistication, and the Dynamics of Specialization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 90-110.
    2. Marek Rojíček, 2010. "Konkurenceschopnost obchodu ČR v procesu globalizace
      [Competitiveness of the Trade of the Czech Republic in the Process of Globalisation]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(2), pages 147-165.
    3. Fagerberg, Jan & Srholec, Martin & Knell, Mark, 2007. "The Competitiveness of Nations: Why Some Countries Prosper While Others Fall Behind," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1595-1620, October.
    4. Andrea Éltet? & Ágnes Szunomár, 2016. "Chinese investment and trade ? strengthening ties with Central and Eastern Europe," International Journal of Business and Management, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences, vol. 4(1), pages 24-48, February.
    5. Kuroiwa, Ikuo, 2014. "Value added trade and structure of high-technology exports in China," IDE Discussion Papers 449, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    6. Dahai Fu & Yanrui Wu & Yihong Tang, 2012. "Does Innovation Matter for Chinese High-Tech Exports? A Firm-Level Analysis," Frontiers of Economics in China, Higher Education Press, vol. 7(2), pages 218-245, June.
    7. Éltető, Andrea, 2014. "A visegrádi országok kereskedelme Ázsiával - a globális termelés lenyomata
      [The trade of the Visegrád countries with Asia - a manifestation of global production]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 586-608.
    8. Janger, Jürgen & Schubert, Torben & Andries, Petra & Rammer, Christian & Hoskens, Machteld, 2017. "The EU 2020 innovation indicator: A step forward in measuring innovation outputs and outcomes?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 30-42.
    9. Edinaldo Tebaldi, 2011. "The Determinants of High-Technology Exports: A Panel Data Analysis," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 39(4), pages 343-353, December.
    10. Srholec, Martin & Verspagen, Bart, 2008. "The Voyage of the Beagle in Innovation Systems Land.Explorations on Sectors, Innovation, Heterogeneity and Selection," MERIT Working Papers 008, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    11. Richard Woodward & Elzbieta Wojnicka & Wojciech Pander, 2012. "Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurship and Opportunities in Two Polish Industries," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 440, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    12. Andrea ÉLTETŐ & Katalin VÖLGYI, 2013. "Integrated in the global value chains - trade developments between Hungary and Asia," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 4, pages 57-79, June.
    13. Martin Borowiecki & Bernhard Dachs & Doris Hanzl-Weiss & Steffen Kinkel & Johannes Pöschl & Magdolna Sass & Thomas Christian Schmall & Robert Stehrer & Andrea Szalavetz, 2012. "Global Value Chains and the EU Industry," wiiw Research Reports 383, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    14. Török, Ádám, 2009. "Társadalomtudományi tények és természettudományos módszerek
      [Social scientific facts and natural scientific techniques]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(12), pages 1067-1087.
    15. repec:spr:jknowl:v:8:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s13132-015-0260-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Pranav N. Desai, 2013. "Export Innovation System: Changing Structure of India’s Technology-Intensive Exports," Institutions and Economies (formerly known as International Journal of Institutions and Economies), Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, vol. 5(3), pages 21-52, October.
    17. Klimis Vogiatzoglou, 2009. "Determinants of Export Specialization in ICT Products: A Cross-Country Analysis," Working Papers 2009.3, International Network for Economic Research - INFER.
    18. repec:mth:jad888:v:3:y:2017:i:2:p:196-212 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:rfe:zbefri:v:35:y:2017:i:1:p:199-215 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Yusuf, Sulaimon Aremu, 2014. "The Analysis of Export Performance of Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs): The Lesson for African Countries," MPRA Paper 55110, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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