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Science and Technology Take-off in China?: Sources of Rising R&D Intensity

Jian Gao and Gary H. Jefferson

Asia Pacific Business Review, 2007, vol. 13, issue 3, 357-371

Abstract: China's ratio of research and development (R&D) spending to its gross domestic product (GDP) more than doubled from 0.6 per cent in 1996 to 1.4 per cent in 2005. This study documents the pattern of science and technology (S & T) take-off, characterized by an abrupt increase in the R&D to GDP ratio. This abrupt increase, observed in many of the now Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, typically drives R&D intensity from below 1 per cent to the range of 2--3 per cent. The question addressed in this work is whether China has begun a similar S & T take-off. The study reviews several conditions identified in the endogenous growth literature that drives R&D intensification and notes their emergence in China during the past decade. It also speculates why China's R&D intensification appears to be starting at such a low level of income per capita.

Date: 2007
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