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The dissertation consists of three essays on international research and development spillovers. In the first essay, I investigate the degree to which differences in institutional arrangements among Sub-Saharan African countries determine the extent of benefits they derive from foreign research and development spillovers. In particular, I compare the international research and development spillovers for English common law and French civil law Sub-Saharan African countries. I show that differences in the legal origin of the company law or commercial codes in these countries may reflect the extent of barriers they place in the paths of firms that engage in the investment process. To tests this hypothesis, I constructed foreign R&D spillovers variable using imports as weights and employed the endogenous growth framework to estimate elasticities of productivity with respect to foreign R&D spillovers for a sample of 17 English common law and French Civil law Sub-Saharan African countries over the period 1980-2004. My results find support for the hypothesis. In particular, foreign R&D spillovers were higher in the English common law countries than in the French civil law countries.
In the second essay, I examine the question of whether technical cooperation grants and overseas development assistance grants induce R&D knowledge spillovers in Sub-Saharan African countries. I test this hypothesis using data for 11 Sub-Saharan African countries over the period 1980-2004. I constructed foreign R&D spillovers using the technical cooperation grants and overseas development assistance grants as weights and employed the endogenous growth framework to provide quantitative estimates of foreign R&D spillover effects in 11 Sub-Saharan African countries. I find that technical cooperation grants and overseas development assistance grants are major mechanisms through which returns to R&D investments in G7 countries flows to Sub-Saharan African countries. However, their influence has declined over the years.
Finally, the third essay tests the hypothesis that the relationship between a country's exporters and their foreign purchasing agents may lead to the exchange of ideas and thereby improve the manufacturing process and productivity in the exporting country. I test this hypothesis using disaggregated export data from OECD countries. The foreign R&D capital stock in this essay was constructed as exports weighted average of domestic R&D capital stock. I find empirical support for the hypothesis. In particular, capital goods exports generate more learning effects and therefore best explain productivity in OECD countries than non-capital goods exports.