Trade in ideas patenting and productivity in the OECD

Jonathan Eaton, Samuel Kortum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

455 Scopus citations


We develop a model of growth and technology diffusion which we fit to aggregate data from OECD countries. Our model implies that each country will eventually grow at the same rate, with its relative productivity determined by its ability to adopt new inventions. Hence productivity levels rather than growth rates better reflect a country's ability to innovate or to adopt new technology. We estimate the model to explain international patterns of productivity and patenting. We find that more than 50% of the growth in each country in our sample derives from innovation in the United States, Germany, and Japan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-278
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of International Economics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - May 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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