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Changing Patterns of Specialisation in Global High Technology Markets: An Empirical Investigation of Advanced Countries

: Jungmittag, A.; Grupp, H.; Hullmann, A.

Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung 67 (1998), No.2, pp.86-96
ISSN: 0340-1707
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
Empirisches Verfahren; technische Entwicklung; Spezialisierung; Wirtschaftswachstum; Außenhandel; Ökonomie; FuE - Forschung und Entwicklung; Entwicklung; Globalisierung; Industrieland; technologische Spezialisierung

This paper investigates whether patterns of technological specialisation of advanced countries change over a period of time in which globalisation in technology occurs. The theoretical analysis of this question is based on models of new growth and trade theory - especially a model by Grossman/Helpman (1991) - as well as on evolutionary economics. The empirical analysis, based on the patent applications in 42 R&D-intensive product groups of the ten strongest patent producing countries, is divided into two parts. First, structural decomposition analysis is used to investigate the effects that determine changes of technological specialisation. Secondly, the concepts of beta and omicron - despecilisation (or -specialisation), which are very similar to the concepts of beta- and omicron-convergence (or divergence), are operationalised and applied to investigate whether countries are moving towards an average specialisation and whether dispersions of relative patent shares of the firms in the individual countries have been reduced during the time. Taking all results together, evidence points to rather stable dispersions of technological specialisations. However, results indicating beta- despecilisation also show that the majority of national innovation systems are now moving towards an average technological specialisation. This is quite in accord with the results of the structural decomposition analysis where the technology share effects and not the structural effects are predominant.