Do Export and Technological Specialisation Patterns Co-evolve in Terms of Convergence or Divergence?: Evidence From 19 OECD Countries, 1971-1991

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Abstract

Several researchers looking at the development of international export specialisation patterns have shown that there is a general tendency for OECD countries to de-specialise. This finding is in contrast to findings made by other authors, working on technological specialisation. These authors found increasing technological specialisation. The first aim of this paper is to investigate whether
these contradictory findings are due to a !real world phenomenon, or whether the explanation is purely technical, by comparing the development of export specialisation to specialisation in terms of US patents, using the same methodology, and level of aggregation. The second aim is to analyse
the extent to which countries and sectors display stable specialisation patterns over time, also both in terms of exports and in terms of technology.
The paper confirms that the OECD countries did in general de-specialise in terms of export specialisation. The evidence is less conclusive with regard to technological specialisation, as the results are mixed in the sense that just about half of the countries tend to increase in terms of the level of specialisation, while the other half tend to engage in de-specialisation. In terms of country
and sectoral stability of specialisation patterns, it can be concluded that both trade specialisation and technological specialisation patterns are path-dependent in the sense that all country and sectoral patterns are correlated between seven three year intervals, within the period in question. In
comparison however, trade specialisation patters are more stable than are technological specialisation patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherDRUID - Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)8778730562
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
SeriesDRUID Working Paper
Number98-18

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