|Compétition et comparaison internationales
|THE DETERMINANTS OF
COMPETITIVENESS OF OECD-COUNTRIES AND THE RELEVANCE OF SOME SIMPLE INDICATORS AS
PROXIES FOR PRODUCT QUALITY AND MARKETING EFFORTS
W. Meeusen, G. Rayp
Université d'Anvers - RUCA
B-2020 ANVERS (Belgique)
The determinants of the international
competitiveness of the manufacturing industry of 11 OECD countries are examined over the
period 1970-1995. International competitiveness is measured as the share of exports of
each country in the 12-country total. Determinants include relative unit labour cost as an
indicator of gross profit margins, patent shares as indicators of product quality,
trademark shares as proxies for relative marketing efforts, and relative capacity use as a
proxy for relative capacity to deliver.
The study can be seen as an extension of previous
work by Soete (1981), Fagerberg (1988), Greenhalgh a.o. (1990 and 1994) and Amendola a.o.
(1993). Our contribution consists of two parts the inclusion within a technology gap
interpretation of competitiveness of the commercial dimension of innovation (measured by
trademark shares), and the explicit consideration of two alternative theoretical
frameworks in which the technology gap explanation of competitiveness might be valid. We
are therefore able to indicate the sensitivity of the results to the theoretical viewpoint
The determinants of competitiveness are first
examined within the more conventional international trade equilibrium framework.
Non-stationarity of the variables however indicates rather slow, if any, adjustment to the
projected trade equilibrium. This implies that, analytically, an error correction model
(ECM) is the most appropriate. As the stylised facts of the 11 OECD countries considered
seem to suggest that the Kaldor paradox (positive correlation between
competitiveness and relative unit labour costs) has some relevance, the Johansen-Juselius
ECM approach (which allows for endogenity of the variables) is opted for.
Yet, for most countries only one cointegration
vector can be identified (for one country cointegration is even rejected as such) and the
space of the four included variables remains largely unbounded. Moreover for half of the
countries examined the cointegrating vector was at odds with the necessary restrictions on
the coefficients consistent with a competitiveness equation. Hence,
cointegration of the variables seems rather weak, which raises some questions concerning
the validity of an equilibrium viewpoint on international trade. We re-estimated therefore
the competitiveness relationships assuming continuously shifting trade positions and
permanent disequilibrium conditions in which strong hysteresis effects are present.
Despite their different underlying assumptions, both
approaches strongly support the technology gap interpretation of international
trade flows. Cost indicators have relatively weak explanatory power. The S&T
indicators perform better. Traditional S&T variables, such as the part of R&D
outlays in GDP, or the investment rate in manufacturing show less clear-cut results, but
the patent share variable of the contrary gives good results. Surprisingly, also the
trademark shares yield results which are statistically significant for most countries.
The different R&D indicators for explaining
international competitiveness are discussed in function of their a priori merits, and of
the empirical results obtained. Particular attention is devoted to trademark shares.
|RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY AND ECONOMIC
PERFORMANCE: A COMPARISON OF EUROPE,
US AND JAPAN
B. Clarysse, B.
European Commission DG XII
AS-4 square de Meeûs, 8
1000 BRUSSELS (Belgique)
There has been a growing perception
in recent years that Europes S&T system is in a rather paradoxical situation in
that, on the one hand, the educational and scientific research base is acknowledged to be
of high quality, while, on the other hand, it seems to be failing to translate this very
healthy scientific base into strong technological and economic performance.
This paper attempts to shed light on this so-called
"European Paradox" by exploring the linkages between indicators of scientific
and technological output (publications and patents), and between indicators of
technological investment and indicators of economic performance, while relating all these
to the underlying R&D effort. The performance of the EU, and of the individual member
states, is compared with those of the US and Japan. The aim is not to create a complex
model of the innovation process, but rather to contribute to the debate on this topic by
raising certain questions and gaining some helpful insights.
In particular the paper seeks to explore a number of
questions: Is this paradox specific to Europe or do we find it in the US and Japan? Is the
core problem the mismatch between science and technology or is it related to inefficient
commercilaization? Can the paradox within Europe be generalized across all member states
After an examination of the linkage between the
EUs scientific and technological outputs in relation to the corresponding research
efforts, the analysis moves closer to the marketplace, to look at Europes
performance in terms of hi-tech trade and its relationship with technology investment.
What emerges is a rather variegated picture, with significant differences between member
states and industries, and a contrast between its rather moderate technology output and
its improving trade performance.
CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGICAL AND
TRADE SPECIALISATION AMONG OPEN ECONOMICS
H. Grupp, G. Muent
Fraunhofer Institute ISI
Breslauer Street 48
D-76139 Karlsruhe (Allemagne)
Recent developments in trade theory focus on
the effects of innovation and knowledge accumulation. In this contribution we ask whetner
pattems of specialisation in technology. and trade are converging or diverging in
industrialised economies since the early 1960s. On the basis of a particular model by
Grossman and Helpman and alternative approches of evolutionary theory it can be shown that
continuous innovation and intra-sectoral knowledge transfer lead to either convergent or
divergent patterns of specialisation, depending on the degree of openness.
An empiral annalysis with trade and patent
data hints at converging trends within Europe whereas patterns among the trad blocs USA.
Japan and europe seern to be diverging. The descriptive analysis is supplemented by and
econometrical gap model which is based on a fifth order autoregressive time serries
DISTRIBUTION OF INNOVATIVE ACTIVITY IN EUROPE
R. Paci, S. Usai
University of Cagliari
Dept. of Economic and Social Sciences
Via Sant'Ignazio, 78
09123 CAGLIARI (Italie)
Recent studies have emphasised the
concept of National Innovation Systems [Nelson R. (1993) and Freeman C. (1995)] while
neglecting the presence of huge regional differences in technological capabilities within
each country. Indeed, at the regional level threre is an even more important role for
technological specialisation due to agglomeration economies [Adhur (1989) and Krugman
(1991)]. This paper, following some recent contributions [Caniels (1997) and Verspagen
(1997)], explores the spatial distribution of patenting activity across the whole regions
of the European.
Union. The analysis is based on a original databank
on regional patents statistics starting from the data collected by the European Patent
office (EPO), we bave assigned each patent. to its region of origin through the postal
code of trie inventor's residence. More precisely, our series refer to patent
applications, classiflical by the inventor's rcgion for the 12 countries of the European
Union over the eighties (1980, 1985 and 1990 - for a total of 53,270 patents). As for the
geographical split we have considered 109 national and sub-national units selected in
order to ensure a certain degree of economie homogeneity and administrative functionality.
Another interesting feature of our database is that it allows us to illustrate the
sectoral technological Specialisation of each rcgion given that we have converted the
original IPC data (which is unsuitable for economie comparison) to the NACE classification
at the three digit level.
The main results worth highlighting are as follows :
first, the technological activity in the EU appears to be highly concentrated, although
concentration tends to décline over the period. This results from the huge differences
between southern and northern Europe. Moreover, as expected, the degree of disparities in
the productivity distribution appears much lower with respect to innovative activity both
at the European and at the country level. As a result, the correlation coefficients
between the regional distribution of innovative activity and labour productivity turns out
to be positive but net very hi gh (around 0.43).
More Surprisingly there appears a weak negative
correlation between technological concentration and aggregate productivity, that is the
European regions which enjoy a more homogeneous distribution of their tcchnological
capability across different industrial sectors appear to be also characterised by a higher
productivity level. This outcome suggests the presence of positive externalities and
spillovers in technology and production that favours those regions that succed in covering
a broader range of technological activities.
REPORT, COMPETITIVITE INTERNATIONALES ET COOPERATION EN R&D
CESSEFI - Paris I / SESSI - Ministère de l'Industrie
SESSI - Ministère de l'Industrie
de ce travail est détudier la composante stratégique de la formation
dalliances dans le domaine de la R&D et en particulier la spécificité des
alliances regroupant des firmes appartenant à plusieurs nations différentes. Il
apparaît alors intéressant de comparer les formes coopératives à dautres formes
dinternationalisation de la R&D. Ce versant spécifiquement internationale sera
approfondi au sein des deux axes suivants :
CESSEFI - Paris I
1. Il convient de replacer la coopération
internationale des firmes en R & D dans le cadre plus générale de leur stratégie
dinternationalisation et donc dessayer de déterminer les raisons pour
lesquelles les firmes sengagent dans des formes dinternationalisation relevant
de la coopération plutôt que dautres formes. Il semble fondamental de réintégrer
la coopération stratégique dans les modèles de concurrence oligopolistique
2. Nous nous proposons ensuite dévaluer
linfluence de la coopération des firmes sur leur performance en termes de
linnovation avec une attention toute particulière sur lorigine géographique
des partenaires de cette coopération, et les transferts de technologies.
Notre analyse se situe au niveau individuel des
firmes. Nous disposons à cet effet de bases de données à la fois nouvelles et
extrêmement riches. Elle se compose de données SESSI et EUROSTAT LOST et la
Commission Européenne sont aussi nos fournisseurs dinformations statistiques.
Lanalyse micro-économétrique résulte des
travaux initiés par Hildreth et Houck, développés par Swamy et généralisés par