Location of Repository

High-tech exports from developing countries: A symptom of technology spurts or statistical illusion?

By Martin Srholec

Abstract

Specialization in high-tech products is frequently used to capture technology intensity of exports. The literature suggests that developing countries are increasingly becoming exporters of high-tech products, and some may even be among the most deeply specialized countries in the field of high-tech exports. The paper scrutinizes the relevance of the taxonomies that classify exports by technological intensity in this context. It is shown that specialization in high-tech exports typically does not appear in tandem with indigenous technological capabilities in developing countries. The analysis of intra-product imports suggests that the bulk of high-tech exports can actually be attributed to the effect of increasingly international fragmentation of production systems in electronics on trade statistics. It is confirmed in an econometric framework that while domestic technological capabilities have some influence on export performance in electronics, it is the propensity to import electronics components that accounts for by far the largest proportion of cross-country differences in specialization in electronics exports. The paper concludes with some implications for policy and future research.

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (2004). A global index of the stability of malaria transmission.
  2. (2004). A new indicator of technological capabilities for developed and developing countries (ArCo).
  3. (2002). A new typology for economic sectors with a view to policy implications.
  4. (1997). Competitiveness, scale
  5. (2005). Comtrade Database.
  6. (1985). Designing global strategies: comparative and competitive value-added chains.
  7. (1999). Does specialization matter for growth?
  8. (2002). Dynamic Products in World Exports.
  9. (2002). Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data.
  10. (2001). Electronics contract manufacturing: Transnational Production Networks,
  11. (2003). Ethnicity, insurgency, and civil war.
  12. (2000). Exports of High Technology Products from Developing Countries: Is It a Real or Statistical Artifact?
  13. (2003). Fractionalization.
  14. (2002). Frontiers of Research in Intra-Industry Trade.
  15. (1999). Geography and Economic Development,
  16. (1999). Global corporations and national systems of innovation: who dominates whom?
  17. (2002). Global production networks, knowledge diffusion, and local capability formation.
  18. (2006). Global production systems and technological catching-up: Thinking twice about high-tech industries in emerging countries.
  19. (2000). Globalization and the Theory of Input Trade.
  20. (1995). Growing world trade: Causes and consequences.
  21. (2004). How does innovation differ across sectors in Europe? Evidence from the CIS-SIEPI database.
  22. (2001). Human Development Report 2001: Making New Technologies Work for Human Development.
  23. (1928). Increasing Returns and Economic Progress.
  24. (2002). Industrial Development Report 2002/2003: Competing through Innovation and Learning.
  25. (2003). Industry classifications: Aim, scope and techniques.
  26. (2003). Innovation in Asian Industrialization: A Gerschenkronian Perspective.
  27. (1998). Integration of trade and disintegration of production in the global economy.
  28. (1988). International competitiveness.
  29. (2001). Just how big is global production sharing?
  30. (1991). Large firms in the production of the worlds technology: An important case of non-globalisation.
  31. (2002). Location versus home country advantages in R&D activities: Some further results of multinationals’ locational strategies.
  32. (2005). Main Science and Technology Indicators.
  33. (2004). Mapping fragmentation: Electronics and automobiles
  34. (1985). Market Structure and Foreign Trade. Cambridge,
  35. (2001). Moving Beyond the Commodity Trap? Trade Adjustment and Industrial Upgrading in East Asia’s Electronics Industry. Honolulu, East-West Center, Working Paper No.
  36. (2001). Pavitt’s taxonomy sixteen years on: A review article.
  37. (1997). Revision of the High-technology Sector and Product Classification.
  38. (2002). Science and Technology Indicators
  39. (2005). Science and Technology Indicators. Buenos Aires,
  40. (2003). Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard
  41. (1984). Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory.
  42. (2004). Structural changes in international trade: Cause, impact and response.
  43. (2001). Structural changes in transition economies.
  44. (1963). Technological change in the machine tool industry,
  45. (2002). Technology, Growth and Competitiveness, Selected Essays.
  46. (2001). The Anatomy and Evolution of Industries.
  47. (1999). The Economic Challenge for Europe. Adapting to Innovation Based Growth.
  48. (2005). The governance of global value chains.
  49. (2001). The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade.
  50. (2000). The technological structure and performance of developing country manufactured exports, 1985–98.
  51. (1934). The Theory of Economic Development. Cambridge (MA),
  52. (2005). The World Competitiveness Yearbook
  53. (2005). The World Development Indicators
  54. Trade and Development Report 2002: Export Dynamism and Industrialization in Developing Countries.
  55. (2001). Trade and Production Fragmentation:
  56. UNCTAD (2002a) World Investment Report 2002: Transnational Corporations and Export Competitiveness.
  57. (1993). Uneven Growth Between Interdependent Economies.
  58. (1995). Vertical and horizontal intra-industry trade: A cross-industry analysis for the United Kingdom.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.