Incomplete Appropriability of R&D and the Role of Strategies and Cultural Factors in International Trade: A Japanese Case
Ryuzo Sato, Rama Ramachandran, Shunichi Tsutsui
One of the proudest achievements of classical and neoclassical economics is the derivation of the superiority of free trade. This result is obtained by assuming constant returns to scale, perfect competition and absence of externalities. The recent realization that the incomplete appropriability of R&D is a main source of externalities and hence the effect of R&D on national welfare is potentially subject to strategic manipulations necessitates a careful examination of these assumptions. This paper discusses R&D and diffusion of technology in international trade from two different perspectives. In Section II, we consider the role of cultural, social and historical factors in the appropriation of technology by reviewing how Japan has appropriated foreign technology. In Section III, we survey three strategic trade models to obtain some insights into the role of R&D and diffusion of technology in the context of imperfect competition. The issues we discuss include the effectiveness of R&D polices by a national government and the impact of R&D policies and diffusion of technology on the incentive to do R&D and on the outcome of trade.