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Effects of knowledge capital on total factor productivity in China: A spatial econometric perspective

Thomas Scherngell (), Martin Borowiecki and Yuanjia Hu

China Economic Review, 2014, vol. 29, issue C, 82-94

Abstract: The transformation of China into a knowledge based economy is one of the most intensively debated research issues in Economic Geography. The focus of this study is on effects of knowledge capital on manufacturing total factor productivity (TFP) in China through the lens of the regional knowledge capital model (KCM). The objective is to estimate the impact of region-internal and region-external knowledge capital — measured in terms of patents granted by the Chinese patent office — on TFP across Chinese regions. We derive a Spatial Durbin Model (SDM) for empirical testing, using panel data on 29 Chinese regions for the years 1988–2007. The results indeed point to a shift of Chinese productivity growth to a more knowledge based one, statistically confirming the impact of knowledge capital on regional TFP after 1998. Furthermore, this shift is not only based on region-internal knowledge capital, but also on inter-regional knowledge spillovers.

Keywords: China; Regional total factor productivity; Knowledge capital; Spatial Durbin Model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 O49 O30 O53 R11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2014.03.003

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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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