Title page for ETD etd-05142012-134556

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Liao, Shaojuan
Author's Email Address sliao85@vt.edu
URN etd-05142012-134556
Title Three Essays on Economic Growth and Technology Development: Considering the Spillover Effects
Degree PhD
Department Economics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Tsang, Kwok Ping Committee Chair
Ashley, Richard A. Committee Member
Parmeter, Christopher F. Committee Member
Salehi-Isfahani, Djavad Committee Member
You, Wen Committee Member
  • SOE
  • Absorptive Capacity
  • Technology Distance
  • Varying-coefficient Estimator
  • Technology Development
  • Technology Gap
  • Three-stage GMM
  • TFP
  • Spatial Error Dependence
  • Spillovers
  • Growth and Convergence
  • Regional Heterogeneity
Date of Defense 2012-04-30
Availability restricted
This dissertation consists of three essays on the empirical analysis of economic growth and technology development. In particular, I

consider spillover effects in different frameworks. The first chapter outlines the three topics involved and briefly discusses the

motivations, methods as well as some conclusions in each of the following chapters.

The second chapter considers the spillovers in economic growth and convergence. Spillovers are prevalent in nowadays' economy. I formally model the spillover effects as the interdependence of total factor productivity (TFP), and develop a model in which spillover effects of R&D through the channel of international trade make the

TFPs correlated among countries. In this sense, I apply the thoughts of international trade to the economic growth framework. Empirically, I develop a three-stage generalized method of moment(GMM) to estimate the dynamic panel spatial error autoregressive model. Simulation results show that my estimator is consistent and efficient. Through counterfactual analysis, I find that there are positive spillovers through both geographic connection and trade connection. Such a positive spillover effect, however, slows down

the convergence speed. Moreover, there were little spillovers in the early 1960s. Spillover effects become stronger overtime.

The third chapter is about the determinants of technology development in China. What makes my paper different from others is that I take a full consideration of the spillover effects: provincial spillovers in Science and Technology (S&T) capital as well as S&T personnel, and international spillovers through trade and FDI. The most interesting point in my paper is that I consider the indirect effects of institutions on technology development. Marketization, measured by the share of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the economy, affects the production of technology through different channels at different stages. I use a semiparametric varying-coefficient model to account for the effects. In this paper, I find that provincial spillovers are mainly through the

externalities of S&T capital stock while international spillovers occur through trade. Marketization affects the technology development through S&T capital, S&T capital spillovers and trade. Although a certain share of SOEs is necessary for technology production, the marketization process will promote the development

of technology in China in the long run.

The fourth chapter looks into the provincial technology spillovers from another aspect. Instead of the S&T endowment spillovers from

the nearby provinces, I consider the technology transfer from the frontier province to the targeted province as well as the absorptive

capacity of the targeted province itself. Two forms of technology transfer are analyzed: the technology distance due to the structural

discrepancy in the patent portfolio and the technology gap because of the difference in the patent level. Through the empirical analysis, several factors contributing to patent growth, such as S&T investment, road density, international spillovers from imports and FDI, are identified. Moreover, I find that technology transfer due to the technology distance can stimulate patent growth. However, I fail to find robust evidence of technology transfer due to the

technology gap, which implies that the provincial technology convergence may not exist in China.

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