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Information Spillover and Economic Development


  • Nien-Huei Jiang

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)


This paper explores a new aspect of the relationship between backwardness and growth, "information spillover". If solving problems is a source of economic growth, then knowing which problems have been solved is per se valuable. A backward country will concentrate its problem-solving efforts on those problems that have been solved abroad. For countries with an intermediate level of human capital, this effect could be strong enough for them to grow faster than more advanced countries in the short run. However, for countries with low human capital, the same information is not as valuable and they will grow slowly or will even stay stagnant. Since it is not the absolute, but the relative human capital levels (of information receiver and provider) that determine growth rates, this model predicts a great variety of economic performance among backward countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Nien-Huei Jiang, 2000. "Information Spillover and Economic Development," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0030, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0030

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Information spillover; problem-solving; growth;

    JEL classification:

    • O00 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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