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Kim, Jungsuk
Park, Jungsoo
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ADB Economics Working Paper Series No. 527
Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila
We examine the importance of total factor productivity (TFP) growth in middle-income countries based on cross-country panel data for the period 1975-2014. We find that TFP growth contributed significantly to a country's upward transition from middle-income to high-income country group. The TFP growth model reveals that the catch-up effect, human capital, smaller population, weak currency, and research and development (R&D) growth are significant sources of TFP growth. We do not find a systematic difference in the TFP growth models for middle-income countries. In analyzing the role of factors influencing TFP growth at different income stages, strengthening innovative activities and building innovative capacities are important in overcoming the challenges that middle-income countries face when transitioning to the high-income group. Governments of upper-middle-income countries need to initiate reform to motivate innovation by optimizing national R&D systems, and redesigning the educational system to target promoting innovation.
economic growth
human capital
middle-income countries
research and development
totalfactor productivity
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Working Paper

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