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Abstract. Using data for 55 developing and developed countries, this research examines the roles of technology transfer, research intensity, educational attainment, and the ability to absorb foreign technology in explaining cross-country differences in productivity growth. The results show that innovation is an important factor for growth in OECD countries, whereas growth in developing countries is driven by imitation. Furthermore, the interaction between educational attainment and the distance to the frontier is a significant determinant of growth in the overall sample.