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This article distinguishes two sources of productivity increases, namely product/process innovations and trade innovations. An empirical analysis for 13 OECD countries shows that product/process innovations, represented by aggregated investments in Research and Development (R&D),
are major determinants for productivity growth in large industrial countries, whereas trade innovations, represented by export intensity, seem to contribute most to productivity in trade-oriented economies. These trade innovations relate to the ability to reduce transaction costs so that these
trading nations specialize in the organization of production in this era of globalization where the production chain is split up in more and more component parts.