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Technology, Growth and Trade: Schumpeterian Perspectives

Fagerberg, Jan (1988): Technology, Growth and Trade: Schumpeterian Perspectives.

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Abstract

This is an attempt to apply Schumpeterian theory to the study of "international economics". The first chapter gives a brief out­ line of the Schumpeterian perspective, considers how it may apply (and has been applied) to the study of international economics and presents some preliminary hypotheses, to be further developed and tested in later chapters. Chapter 2 uses the Schumpeterian model of innovation-diffusion as a framework for the study of "why growth rates differ" between countries, while chapter 3 extends the analysis to include international trade - or "competitiveness" - as well. The main finding of chapters 2-3 is that differences in the growth of national technological activities, whether measured through R&D or patent statistics, contribute significantly to differences in economic growth and export performance across countries. Chapter 4, which focuses on the relation between innovation-diffusion, structural changes in world trade and export performance, extends the analysis of the preceding chapters to the multi-sector frame-work. The results show that the structural changes in world trade in the Post-War period were most favourable for countries with a high level of national technological activity, an advanced export structure and a large domestic market. However, the rapid growth in world trade in this period did at the same time allow countries on a lower level of economic and technological development to catch up through imitation and exploitation of cost-advantages. The countries least favourably affected were small countries with a high level of income and costs, but a relatively low level of national technological activity. Chapter 5 considers the problems of small, developed countries in more detail, using the Nordic countries as illustrations, while chapter 6 uses the same empirical material to discuss the implications of innovation-diffusion for changes in specialization patterns/intra-industry trade. The final chapter (7) contains summary and conclusions.

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