Globalization and Technology Absorption in Europe and Central Asia the Role of Trade, FDI, and Cross-Border Knowledge Flowspaper
World Bank Working Paper No. 150
Posted: 23 Jul 2008
Date Written: June 20, 2008
These papers are published to communicate the results of the Bank's ongoing research and to stimulate public discussion. Innovation and cross-border absorption of knowledge are central forces behind economic convergence and sustained growth. Absorption of technology is considered a necessary step to promote the development of human capital and the productive base, paving the way for innovations at the global knowledge frontier. Research and development, patents, trade, and foreign direct investment are major channels of technological absorption, allowing diffusion of new ideas and manufacturing best practices among countries and firms. These channels constitute the central focus of this study.
This study uses patent databases, surveys of enterprises, and case studies to investigate how the presence of specific channels of absorption molds decision making about technology. Trade and FDI flows show considerable promise as catalysts for the region to upgrade its technology and near the global technology frontier. Econometric analysis using enterprise surveys from all ECA countries helps us understand the conditions and policies that induce firms to incorporate external knowledge and technology into their overall growth strategies.
We find evidence of learning by exporting, underscoring the importance of trade as a driver of absorption. A case study of several manufacturing firms in Serbia complements this perspective, providing a detailed picture of the positive dynamics that are produced by FDI, particularly in terms of investment and risk-taking incentives that are critical for technology absorption. Examination of patent citations shows that cross-border knowledge flows need to be strengthened to foster closer connections between the region's public sector R&D and global private sector efforts.
Keywords: Technology transfer-Asia, Central, Technology transfer-Europe, Investments, Foreign-Asia, Central, Investments, Foreign-Europe, Globalization-Asia, Central, Goldberg Itzhak, Globalization
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