NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Explaining Japan's Innovation and Trade: A model of Quality Competition and Dynamic Comparive Advantage

Gene M. Grossman

NBER Working Paper No. 3194
Issued in December 1989
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment, International Finance and Macroeconomics

In this paper, I develop a model of dynamic comparative advantage based on endogenous innovation. Firms in each of two countries devote resources to R&D in order to improve the quality of high-technology products. Research successes generate profit opportunities in the world market. The model predicts that a country such as Japan, with abundance of skilled labor and scarcity of natural resources, will specialize relatively in industrial innovation and in the production of high-technology goods. Data are provided to support this prediction. I use the model to explore the effects of R&D subsidies, production subsidies and trade policies on the long-run rates of innovation in trade partner countries and on the long-run pattern of trade.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3194

Published: Bank of Japan Monetary and Economic Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 75-100, September 1990.

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