Trade, Human Capital, and Technology Spillovers: An Industry-Level Analysis

15 Pages Posted: 2 May 2007


This paper studies whether trade promotes North-South and South-South technology spillovers at the industry level, and how the absorptive capacity of the South affects the impact of the technology spillovers. Using data from 16 manufacturing industries in 25 developing countries from 1976 to 1998, the paper shows: (i) North-South trade-related R&D has a substantial impact on total factor productivity in the South; (ii) South-South trade-related R&D also promotes technology spillovers but with a smaller magnitude; and (iii) human capital is very important in facilitating North-South and South-South technology spillovers: an increase in human capital could lead to over three times the size of technology spillovers from an increase in trade-related foreign R&D.

Suggested Citation

Wang, Yanling, Trade, Human Capital, and Technology Spillovers: An Industry-Level Analysis. Review of International Economics, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 269-283, May 2007. Available at SSRN: or

Yanling Wang (Contact Author)

Carleton University ( email )

1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6

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