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Technological factors and total factor productivity in China: Evidence based on a panel threshold model

Junbing Huang, Xiaochen Cai, Shuo Huang, Sen Tian and Hongyan Lei

China Economic Review, 2019, vol. 54, issue C, 271-285

Abstract: This study investigates the effects of technological factors, including indigenous research and development (R&D) investments, technology spillovers coming from foreign direct investments, export, and import, on China's total factor productivity (TFP). Using provincial panel data of China, covering 30 provinces over the period 2000–2014, our results confirm that indigenous R&D investments play a leading role in promoting TFP. Linear analysis suggests that, except for export, the technology spillovers through openness are beneficial for TFP growth. However, a further discussion based on a panel threshold model suggests that the different behaviours of these technology spillovers are dependent on the technological absorptive capacity affecting factors, such as human capital and indigenous R&D investments. The human capital will strengthen the spillover effects of each technology spillover. However, R&D intensity initially tends to hamper their spillover effects. Once the R&D intensity exceeds a certain level, the negative spillover effect of export on TFP tends to be alleviated, and the positive spillover effect of foreign direct investment and import on TFP will increase.

Keywords: Technology spillovers; Technological factors; Total factor productivity; Panel threshold model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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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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