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International trends in technological progress: evidence from patent citations, 1980-2011

Authors: Soonwoo Kwon , Jihong Lee and Sokbae (Simon) Lee
Date: 24 October 2017
Type: Journal article, The Economic Journal, Vol. 127, pp. 50-70
DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12314/full


We analyse cross-country trends in several aspects of technological progress during 1980–2011 by examining the US patent citations data. Our estimation results on patent quality and citation lags relative to the US reveal the following. The emerging Asian economies of Korea, Taiwan and China have achieved substantial catch-up. In the case of Korea and Taiwan, progress has been made in both patent quality and citation lags. China has achieved improvement in patent quality but not in citation lag. In contrast, advanced economies of Europe and Japan have displayed steady decline in patent quality, while the US has strengthened its position.

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