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The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics

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International technology adoption, R&D, and productivity growth

Seung Mo Choi / Daniel Toro González
  • Facultad de Economía y Negocios, Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar Parque Industrial y Tecnológico Carlos Vélez Pombo, Km 1 Vía Turbaco. Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
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/ Peter Gray
  • School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University, PO Box 646210, Hulbert 101, Pullman, WA 99164-6210, USA
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Published Online: 2013-06-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejm-2012-0035


International knowledge diffusion is considered an important source of productivity growth. However, direct observations on such diffusion have not been available at the macro level. We analyze novel data on international technology trade. Our empirical analyses indicate a positive association between payments for international technology adoption and the growth of labor productivity. Those payments appear to be a stronger contributor than research and development (R&D) investments for a large group of economies. For economies with high productivity, technology adoption payments tend to be complementary to R&D investments.

Keywords: R&D; technology adoption; technology trade; JEL codes: O14; O33


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About the article

Corresponding author: Seung Mo Choi, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20431, USA, e-mail:

Published Online: 2013-06-20

Published in Print: 2013-01-01

While we do not provide a further statistical analysis, it is also possible that subsidies to education (and other forms of human capital production such as on-the-job training and in-home training) can multiply the effects of R&D and TA, accelerating productivity growth. See Choi (2011) and James and Choi (2013) for a related discussion.

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, Volume 13, Issue 1, Pages 331–354, ISSN (Online) 1935-1690, ISSN (Print) 2194-6116, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejm-2012-0035.

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