Geographical concentration and the dynamics of countries' specialization in technologies

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This paper examines the empirical dynamics of countries' technological specialization in six technology fields using distribution dynamics. In all technology fields innovation activities are performed by relatively few countries and the degree of concentration is fairly stable in time. Intra-distribution dynamics is characterized by persistence of within field countries' specialization levels around or below the mean, while high specialization levels revert towards lower values. This strengthens the case for absorptive capacity. Electronics show some distinctive properties: they have the highest degree of geographical concentration and numerous small countries among those specialized; they also are the least mobile technology field. In a Schumpeterian perspective, this is in line with "creative accumulation".
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-291
Number of pages23
JournalEconomics of Innovation and New Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Distribution dynamics
  • General Markov chains
  • Revealed Comparative Advantage
  • Technological change


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