Recent developments in economic integration show rather diverse patterns of integration into the world economy. Some countries are remaining in the low-tech industries whereas other countries succeed in becoming competitive also in high-tech industries. In this paper we postulate that positioning oneself at the lower end in the spectrum of high-tech industries is more favourable to a country's long-term development than aiming at the upper end of low-tech industries. We argue that countries which specialize in the lower end of the medium-high-tech activities are rewarded by faster productivity increases also in the upper end of the high-tech industries. In contrast, early specialization in medium-low-tech branches yields positive spillovers mainly in the low-tech sector, which is not promotive to catching-up in high-tech industries. We sketch a theoretical outline of this idea and present econometric results including four aggregate manufacturing branches and 37 countries. In the econometric analysis we also include trade and FDI variables.
trade and technology unit root tests patterns of catching-up