Technology and Trade Wars

  • Luigi PaganettoEmail author
  • Pasquale Lucio Scandizzo
Conference paper


An increasing globalization of value chains has been one of the most important features in the world’s economy. Intermediate or processing trade has been increasing at a rapid pace, becoming a crucial part of world trade. Many countries’ exports—including those of China—are economically less significant than they look, because they consist in imports, subsequently re-exported, and intermediates, modestly reprocessed. The effects of international trade on labour markets are controversial, causing a reshaping of the value chain or slowing down the unwanted transfer of technology. However, the US is well positioned for a trade war, since its limited reliance on foreign trade. As the recent economic crisis has shown, trade may be powerfully levered by financial flows to spread contraction effects internationally. The US is concerned for its technological leadership that may be compromised by a continuous leakage of technologies to Chinese firms and by their tendency to copy high tech products and steal intellectual property rights. China is adopting policies to upgrade technology and product quality, aim to struggle against the rising pollution and the falling exports. Nevertheless, US may contrast technology exchanges across borders in different ways. A real multilateral cooperation and international institution building appear to be the only response not only crucial and practically effective, but also commanding an image of vigor and reach, capable to overturn the current expectations.


  1. Aitken, B. J., Hanson, G. H., & Harrison, A. E. (1997). Spillovers, foreign in-vestment, and export behavior. Journal of International Economics, 43, 103–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barrios, S., Gorg, H., & Strobl, E. (2003). Explaining firms’ export behaviour: R&D, spillovers and the destination market. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 65, 475–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Coase, R. H. (1937). The nature of the firm. Economica, 4, 386–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coase, R. H. (1960). The problem of social cost. Journal of Law and Economics, 3(1), 1–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coase, R. H. (1992). The institutional structure of production. The American Economic Review, 82(4), 713–719.Google Scholar
  6. Das, T. K. (1987). Strategic planning and individual temporal orientation. Strategic Management Journal, 8(2), 203–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ethier, W. J. (1998). The new regionalism. The Economic Journal, 108(July), 1149–1161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Findlay, R. (1978). Relative backwardness, direct foreign investment, and the transfer of technology: A simple dynamic model. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 92, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fosfuri, A., Motta, M., & Ronde, T. (2001). Foreign direct investment and spillovers through workers’ mobility. Journal of International Economics, 53, 205–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Genzlinger, N. (2012, August 23). Casting blame for jobs that vanish. The New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2018.Google Scholar
  11. Glass, A., & Saggi, K. (1998). International technology transfer and the technology gap. Journal of Development Economics, 55, 369–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Glass, A., & Saggi, K. (2002). Multinational firms and technology transfer. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 104, 495–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Greenaway, D., Sousa, N., & Wakelin, K. (2004). Do indigenous firms learn to export from multinationals? European Journal of Political Economy 19.Google Scholar
  14. Haacker, M. (1999). Spillovers from foreign direct investment through labour turnover: The supply of management skills (CEP Discussion Paper). London School of Economics.Google Scholar
  15. Mundell, R. (1957). International trade and factor mobility. The American Economic Review, 47, 321–337.Google Scholar
  16. Navarro, P., & Autry, G. (2011) Death by China: Confronting the dragon – A global call to action.Google Scholar
  17. Scandizzo, P. L. (2002). Il Mercato e l’Impresa: le Teorie e i Fatti, Giappichelli Sez. I Tomo 6, Torino.Google Scholar
  18. Wang, J., & Blomstrom, M. (1992). Foreign investment and technology transfer: A simple model. European Economic Review, 36(1), 137–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FUET – Tor Vergata Economics FoundationUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly

Personalised recommendations