Date of Original Version

Spring 1998



Rights Management

Abstract or Description

This paper reviews the recent empirical literature on international knowledge spillovers. I start by summarizing the theoretical models that have highlighted the potential importance of these spillovers. Then, drawing upon the older micro productivity research tradition, I lay out a simple conceptual framework (though not a formal theoretical framework) for thinking about the various kinds of knowledge transfers that may exist, how they might be mediated, and the means by which their effects might be traced empirically. I then review some influential empirical papers, demonstrating that empirical work to date may very well not have identified the effects the authors set out to measure. Finally, I describe some promising new approaches which may allow researchers in this field to identify more precisely, both conceptually and empirically, certain kinds of international knowledge spillovers.


In Annales d’Economie et de Statistique No. 49/50, 1998, pp. 517-540.