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On indirect trade-related R&D spillovers: the role of the international trade network


  • Chiara Franco
  • Sandro Montresor
  • Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti


The paper aims at investigating the role that one country's position in the international trade network has in attracting knowledge and technology flows to it. By referring to "indirect" Research and Development (R&D) spillovers, we argue that not only is this position responsible for the number of R&D flows one country benefits from, but also for their economic impact to an extent depending on the number of trade relationships which separate it from its trade partners. This argument is developed by extending to trade-related R&D spillovers the intersectoral Average Propagation Length (APL) of exogenous shocks in sectoral final demand or value added. The inter-country APL of foreign R&D is then used to weight the (total factor) productivity impact of the foreign R&D stock available to one country, along with that of the R&D stock produced domestically. Different specifications of such an econometric model are estimated with respect to 21 OECD countries over the decade 1995-2005. The results are consistent with those of the models which explicitly recognize the role of indirect R&D spillovers: in particular, the TFP elasticity of the foreign R&D available stock is greater than that of the foreign R&D produced stock. The APL based results are however more robust, as they depend on the actual economic distance in trade of one country from the others, rather than, as in previous models, on the (most fitting) estimated value of its economic consequences.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiara Franco & Sandro Montresor & Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti, 2009. "On indirect trade-related R&D spillovers: the role of the international trade network," Openloc Working Papers 0901, Public policies and local development.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpol:0901

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lumenga-Neso, Olivier & Olarreaga, Marcelo & Schiff, Maurice, 2005. "On `indirect' trade-related R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1785-1798, October.
    2. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe De La Potterie, 1997. "Issues in Assessing the Effect of Interindustry R&D Spillovers," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 331-356.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Marin & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2013. "The evolution of environmental and labor productivity dynamics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 357-399, April.
    2. Giulio Cainelli & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Roberto Zoboli, 2011. "Enviromental Innovations, Complementarity and Local/Global Cooperation," Working Papers 201104, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Average Propagation Length; International R&D spillovers; International trade network; Total Factor Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • F01 - International Economics - - General - - - Global Outlook
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence


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