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The role of international trade for the global build-up of innovation capabilities in the wind industry

: Peukert, Jan; Bodenheimer, Miriam; Gandenberger, Carsten


Innovation and development 6 (2016), No.1, pp.103-121
ISSN: 2157-930X
ISSN: 2157-9318
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
wind energy; international trade; innovation capability; knowledge spillovers; climate change

The global combat on climate change requires that developing countries not only get access to advanced technical equipment, but also rapidly build-up indigenous innovation capabilities for low-carbon technologies. The goal of this paper is to assess the role of international trade as a channel of knowledge diffusion in the wind industry from technologically advanced countries to their trading partners. Using patents as a measure of innovation in a cross-country time-series data analysis, we estimate the effects of the volume and the structure of sector-specific imports on domestic inventions in the wind-energy sector. The estimation results indicate that international trade has contributed to the development of globally distributed innovation capabilities in the wind industry, both through the transfer of technologies embodied in advanced technical equipment, but also through knowledge spillovers from the capabilities of foreign trading partners.