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Innovation, Imitation and Technological Catching up in China

Author: YiXianZhong
Tutor: ZhangYaBin
School: Hunan University
Course: International Trade
Keywords: Self-innovation Imitation Technological catching up Technological backward advantage
CLC: F224
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2008
Downloads: 1388
Quote: 1
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《National Guideline on Medium- and Long-Term Program for Science and Technology Development (2006-2020)》indicateed specifically that until the year 2020 our country should become one of the innovation countries. Imitation and self-innovation are two main channels to achieve this aim. So how does China, as a lagging country, chose a suitable technological progress mode and how to promote its transition from imitation to self-innovation, are important problems we have to solve. At the same time, the regional economic in our country is developed unequally, therefore the regional technological progress mode should be different. Thus, another question occured: How does an unequal developed country choose suitable technological policies and development strategies reflecting the regional differences? In order to find the answer for these questions, this paper focused on solving the following three problems:(1) By extended north–south technology diffusion model and international empirical analysis, we found that choosing an appropriate technological progress mode is beneficial to technological progress. By discussing the backward advantage paradox, we found that even under the premise that the technological backward advantage can be utilized fully, the lagging countries still need to deal with the relationship well between the two technological progress modes to realize economic catching up. (2) In order to find the determining factors of the technological progress modes and of the relationship between the R&D investment and the production investment, Firstly we built an extended endogenous growth model to discuss the influence of the technology gap on the technological progress mode; Secondly, we put the heterogeneous human capital into the consentaneous theory model to discuss the determinate factors of the technological progress mode; thirdly, we made a empirical analysis based on China’s provincial panel date. The conclusions are that: when the lagging country’s imitation ability is at a high level, the technological backward advantage can play a role, technology gap and human capital are main determining factors of the technological progress mode,The dominate technological progress mode transits from imitation to innovation as the technology gap narrowing and increasing of the composition of human capital; When the lagging country’s imitation ability is at a low level, there is an innovation phase before the lagging country’s technological progress mode becoming imitation; Improving innovation efficiency and human capital copiousness degree can accelerate the transition of technological progress mode, but the policies accelerating the technological progress mode’s transition may not be beneficial to the technological catching up; The“Strategies of Limited Catching up”can be helpful to the technological catching up by encouraging R&D investment. According to the empirical analysis, we can find that the dominate technological progress mode in our country is imitation; In the region with high technological level, innovation and R&D investment promote economic growth and technological progress; In the region with low technological level, production investment and imitation are main forces for the economic growth and technological progress. (3)We explored the lagging country’s choice of technological policy and strategies which reflect different technological progress modes of different regions. According to the theory and the empirical analysis, we proposed that suitable intellectual property rights policies should balance imitation and innovation, Also we proposed combinatorial polices of intellectual property rights and R&D subsidy to accelerate technological progress; By Empirical analysis and comparing technological policies, we concluded that the main technological policy should transit from stimulating R&D demand to improving the supply of R&D resources. Finally, we proposed the technological strategy of“layer catching up”reflecting regional differences. To couple“Layer catching up”strategy, we proposed that“Layer technological progress”should be driven by“Layer Economic”. By doing so, we can crack the dilemma of the technological strategies and technological policies and realize technological catching up.The main significance of the research is that we clarified the relationship between imitation and innovation、R&D investment and production investment, and to provide supporting theory and proof for the choseing and transition of the technological progress mode, and also we proposed some suggestions for the choice of policies and development Strategy promoting china’s technological catching up.

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