Technological changes and regional development in China

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    Project Manager :
    Lili Wang

    Along with its fast economic growth, China has made a series of attempts to increase its science and technology (S&T) capacity. This project investigates the role of technological changes in the Chinese setting. The following topics are included in this project:

    1) Technological spillovers and industrial growth in China

    Rapid growth is often accompanied by an increase in regional disparities in income and productivity, which in the long run may undermine the stability and sustainability of the growth process. China’s recent rapid growth has been characterised by high regional inequalities. In a previous study, we find that in the long run there is a tendency towards regional convergence in China. Considering the fact that Both R&D and FDI are highly concentrated in coastal regions, in this research, we address the question whether technological spillovers from regions with high levels of FDI and R&D play a role as drivers of regional growth in neighbouring regions in China.

    2) The structure and comparative advantages of China’s scientific research

    In recent decades there has been a sharp increase in China’s scientific output. Behind its fast growth, little is known about China’s comparative advantages in different academic disciplines. Meanwhile, despite China’s rising position (now in second place worldwide for research output), its research quality has been long in dispute. This study examines the comparative advantages of each academic discipline as well as their shifts over the years. Focusing on the top 5 per cent journals by each discipline, we evaluate the quality of China’s scientific output compared to the rest of the world.

    3) The development of emerging technologies in China – the case of nanotechnology

    By acquiring the capabilities to take a global lead in the development of an emerging technology system, less developed countries can rapidly hasten the process of their technological catching up or forging ahead. In this context, nanotechnology represents a set of science-based enabling technologies that are still in the early stages of their technological life cycles and that promise significant long-term pay offs to countries pioneering their development and commercialization. We investigate the factors driving nanotechnology development in Chinese regions. Although advanced regions of China have spearheaded the country’s rapid growth in nanotechnology, other regions are increasingly involved in the development of this technology. We aim to find whether different factors have been driving nanotechnology development for regions with different scientific capabilities.