Has economic growth in WAEMU countries benefited from world technology diffusion?


Abdoulaye Seck


In an increasingly integrated world economy, R&D efforts in one country can substantially benefit its foreign counterparts. The paper asks whether countries within WAEMU that do little, if any, R&D activity, have gained from international technology diffusion. The results based on a non-stationary panel suggest that even though they have indeed gained in terms of aggregate productivity increase, they appear to have done so less than the average African country and the rest of the developing world. Their apparent weaker technology absorption capabilities have to do with their international trade patterns, their lower accumulation of human capital, as well as the seemingly burdensome French legal tradition, all of which ordering directions for public policies aiming at boosting growth in the community and ultimately improving living standards in the long run.

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