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Structural Changes in International Trade - who gain, who lose?


  • Jan Fagerberg

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


This paper focuses on the structural changes in OECD trade between 1961 and 1983. It is shown that trade in R&D- intensive products, based on relatively recent innovations, grew much faster than trade in other products. This caused the structure of OECD trade to change in a way most favorable for the technologically most advanced countries of the OECD area. But diffusion of technology at the same time provided countries on a lower level of technological and economic development with the opportunity of increasing market shares through structural change (adaptation), imitation and exploitation of cost advantages. In general, the latter type of effects outweighed the former. The main losers in this process were countries with a high level of income and costs, but a low level of innovative activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Fagerberg, 1987. "Structural Changes in International Trade - who gain, who lose?," Working Papers Archives 1987107, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tik:wparch:1987107
    Note: Originally published as NUPI report no.107, May 1987

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Fagerberg & Ådne Cappelen & Lars Mjöset, 1992. "Structural change and economic policy: the Norwegian model under pressure," Working Papers Archives 1992456, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    2. 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.

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