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Do good institutions enhance the effect of technological spillovers on productivity? Comparative evidence from developed and transition economies

Krammer, Sorin (2010): Do good institutions enhance the effect of technological spillovers on productivity? Comparative evidence from developed and transition economies.

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Abstract

This paper argues that institutional quality has both direct and indirect (moderating) effects on productivity of countries. These hypotheses are tested using a battery of institutional proxies (governance, economic freedom, intellectual property rights and ease of doing business) and two channels for technological spillovers (trade and FDI) in a panel of developed and transition economies. The results confirm that good institutions have positive and similar effects on productivity across the board. Moreover, they moderate the relationship between foreign technological spillovers and productivity, contingent on the specifics of institutional proxies and countries considered. Thus, governance, IPR and economic freedom exhibit negative moderation in the case of transition economies, while easiness of doing business moderates positively this relationship for both groups of countries. The moderation effects are larger for transition economies and trade-related spillovers. Overall, these results suggest a trade-off for transition countries between pursuing institutional upgrades and increasing their gains from technological spillovers.

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