Technological standards for research-intensive product groups and international competitiveness
The paper presents a quantitative model for the assessment of technological standards, which is applied to a sample of data compiled in 1986 comparing technical specifications of R and D intensive product groups of US, Japanese and West-German origin. The merits and the limitations of this model as well as of comparable concepts and approaches published within the last few years are discussed in a systematic manner. It is found that few of the previously published concepts aim at a quantitative comparison of solely technological specifications on the level of national economies. The "Technometric" model introduced in this paper therefore attempts to fill an analytical gap. Technological disparities and national technological standards are presented in the fields of lasers, industrial robots, sensors, photovoltaic modules, immobilized biocatalysts, and genetically engineered drugs. Time series up to 1985 for the relative-import indicator RCA (revealed comparative advantage) for West-Ger many versus the United States, Japan and several other countries are discussed and the quantitative findings are characterized by the different competitive positions held by countries. For the six technological fields indicated above shortcomings and classification problems are discussed, and hence the requirements for future data bases and future scientific work in the field of technical and economic indicators.