The Co-Evolution of International Business Connections and Domestic Technological Capabilities: Lessons from the Japanese Catch-Up Experience

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We undertake an examination of the technological catch-up experiences of the leading Japanese industrial firms in the twentieth century, based on both qualitative and quantitative historical evidence. We argue that the international business connections of Japanese firms had a strong influence on the industrial composition of the catch-up of their technological capabilities, and that in turn that catch-up has led to a change in the nature and form of their international business connections. We speculate on some similarities and differences with the current catchup of firms in emerging market economies.

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