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Patterns of technological specialisation in Latin American and East Asian countries: an analysis of patents and trade flows

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This article provides an extensive analysis of the technological specialisation of three Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil and Mexico) and two East Asian countries (South Korea and Taiwan). Technological specialisation is measured both with respect to patents and trade flows. This article provides different measures of technological specialisation: Ricardian and Smithian specialisation indexes and the contribution to trade balance. These indicators provide a new picture of the evolution of the patterns of technological specialisation. Latin American countries show a divergent technological specialisation from East Asian countries, since the 1970s. In particular, Latin American countries display weaknesses in computers and communications and electrical and electronic sectors and their specialisation in fast growing technological classes is declining, in contrast to East Asian countries. While East Asian countries have shifted to specialised supplier or science-based sectors, Latin American countries have increased their trade specialisation in supplier-dominated or scale-intensive sectors.*


During January-December 2004, Marcela Miozzo will be visiting the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Buenos Aires.

Keywords: Contribution to trade balance; East Asia; Innovation; Latin America; Revealed technological advantage; Technological specialisation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-10-01

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