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National Externalities and Path-dependence in Technological Change: An Empirical Test

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Corresponding author e-mail: marialuisa.mancusi@unibocconi.it

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical assessment of the relevance of the hypothesis of increasing returns and path-dependence in technological development by looking at its implications on the evolution of the technological specialization profiles of advanced countries. A recontracting process is used to formalize the idea that when national externalities are strong, countries should display the tendency to specialize in selected technologies. No evidence of such tendency towards increasing specialization is found in the data.

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