Journal of International Economics, Vol. 76, n. 2
This paper brings together the issues of knowledge spillovers
and absorptive capacity
, by assessing the role of prior R&D experience in enhancing a country's ability to understand and improve upon external knowledge. International spillovers are found effective in increasing innovative productivity in laggard countries, while technological leaders are a source rather than a destination of knowledge flows. Quantitative estimates of the effect of absorptive capacity on innovative performance, through knowledge spillovers, show that absorptive capacity increases the elasticity of a laggard country's innovation to international spillovers, while its marginal effect is negligible for countries at the technological frontier.