An International Comparison of
the TFP Levels and the Productivity Convergence of
Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, and Chinese Listed Firms
(Extended Version)

Kyoji Fukao
Tomohiko Inui
Keiko Ito
YoungGak Kim
Tangjun Yuan

February 2011


Focusing on Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, and Chinese firms in the manufacturing sector,this paper examines productivity catch-up at the firm level using the distance from the technology frontier as a direct measure of the potential for catch-up. We also examine the role of absorptive capacity for technological catch-up by including variables such as R&D expenditure and foreign ownership in our empirical estimation.

We find that the national frontier has a stronger pull on domestic firms than the regional frontier, which is in line with findings by Bartelsman, Haskel and Martin (2008). This result indicates that policies to raise the technology level of national frontier firms are beneficial for all firms in that country.

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