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International technology transfer and domesticinnovation: evidence from the high-speed rail sector inChina

Lin, Yatang, Qin, Yu and Xie, Zhuan (2015) International technology transfer and domesticinnovation: evidence from the high-speed rail sector inChina. CEP Discussion Paper (1393). London School of Economics and Political Science, CEP, London, UK.

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Abstract

How does the transfer of advanced technology spur innovation in developing countries? This paper exploits the large-scale introduction of high-speed railway (HSR) technology into China in 2004 as a natural experiment to address this question. The experiment is unique in the sense that this wave of technology transfer is large, abrupt and arguably exogenous in timing, covering a variety of technology classes and a large number of geographically-dispersed railway-related firms. With detailed information on the types of technology transferred and the identities of the receiving firms, as well as their product market specializations, we are able to depict a clear picture of how foreign technology is digested and spurs follow up innovation in and out of directly receiving firms. Our findings suggest that technology transfer leads to significant growth in HSR-related patents in cities with direct receivers of imported technology after 2004 in a triple-difference estimation. We also observe sizable spill overs to firms that are not directly related to the railway industry. Technology similarity plays an important role in technology diffusion, but we do not observe any significant impacts of geographic proximity. Previous university research strength in relevant fields is also conducive to stronger technology spill overs.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2016 08:19
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2019 23:27
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/66057

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