OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers

1815-1965 (online)
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The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) leads OECD research on the contribution of science, technology and industry to well-being and economic growth. STI Working Papers cover a broad range of topics including definition and measurement of science and technology indicators, global value chains, and research on policies to promote innovation. These technical or analytical working papers are prepared by staff or outside consultants to share early insights and elicit feedback.

Economic Growth and Technological Change

An Evolutionary Interpretation You or your institution have access to this content

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Bart Verspagen
09 Jan 2001
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This paper provides a perspective from evolutionary economic theory on recent growth differences in the OECD area. The empirical analysis contained in the paper offers a number of findings. First, the United States seems to be diverging from the other OECD countries, while the latter are still, by and large, converging to the OECD average. Second, the estimated model of evolutionary growth suggests that convergence based on the assimilation of foreign technology is becoming a more active process. R&D now seems to be crucial for catching-up and is no longer an activity that is unequivocally associated with moving the world technological frontier. Third, differences between countries in terms of pure technological competencies, i.e. patenting, have become more important in explaining growth differentials. These trends suggest that the absorption of foreign technology requires more active efforts, and that technological differences between countries translate more easily ...