, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 209–233 | Cite as

Total factor productivity, domestic knowledge accumulation, and international knowledge spillovers in the second half of the twentieth century

  • Teresa Sanchis
  • Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis
  • Vicente Esteve
  • Antonio Cubel
Original Paper


This paper analyses the relationship between total factor productivity (TFP) and innovation-related variables during the second half of the twentieth century. We perform this analysis for several European countries (France, Germany, UK, and Spain) and the USA, extending Coe and Helpman’s (Eur Econ Rev 39:859–887, 1995) empirical specification to include human capital. We use a new dataset of patents data for the past 150 years to calculate the stock of knowledge using the perpetual inventory method. Our time series empirical analysis confirms the heterogeneous relationship between innovation variables (domestic stock of knowledge, imports of knowledge, and human capital) and productivity. Our results reveal the extent to which observed differences in technology adoption patterns and the levels of endowment of such resources can explain differences in TFP dynamics across countries. The estimated coefficients confirm the considerable gap that still exists between the European countries and the USA in innovation-related variables. Furthermore, we obtain a finding that may have important implications for innovation policies: the higher the levels of human capital and domestic knowledge stocks, the higher will be the response of TFP to a 1 % increase in any of the aforementioned variables.


Innovation International technology transfer Patents Productivity Cointegration techniques Second half XXth century 

JEL Classification

N14 O33 O47 O22 



Financial support from the Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (Projects ECO2011-25033; ECO2011-30323-C03-02; and ECO2012-39169-C03-02), MINECO (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Project ECO2011-30260-CO3-01), Fundación Seneca-Regional Agency of the Regional Government of Murcia (Project 15363/PHCS/10), the Generalitat Valenciana (Project GVPROMETEO2009-098), the Department of Education and Science of the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha (Project PEII09-0072-7392), and the Generalitat Valenciana (Project GVPROMETEO2009-098 and PROMETEO/2009/068), and the GLOBALEURONET program from the European Science Foundation is gratefully acknowledged. We would also like to thank participants for comments and suggestions in the workshop “Patents in Economic History” (Eindhoven, 2009), in the European Historical Economics Society Conference (Geneva, 2009), in the VI Jornadas sobre Integración Económica (Valencia, 2009), and III Encuentro AEHE (Barcelona, 2012) and participants in a seminar at the University of Groningen (2009).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teresa Sanchis
    • 1
  • Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis
    • 2
  • Vicente Esteve
    • 3
  • Antonio Cubel
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Valencia and Instituto FiguerolaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.University of Valencia and ERI-CESValenciaSpain
  3. 3.University of ValenciaValenciaSpain

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