Journal of Productivity Analysis

, Volume 52, Issue 1–3, pp 85–100 | Cite as

Technological change, technological catch-up and export orientation: evidence from Latin American Countries

  • Nickolaos G. TzeremesEmail author


The paper examines in a nonparametric frontier framework the effect of exports on Latin American countries’ technological change and technological catch-up levels over the period 1950–2014. Based on the probabilistic approach of nonparametric production efficiency measurement, we apply time-dependent conditional full and partial efficiency estimators to evaluate countries’ export orientation policies over the examined period. The results reveal that the effect of countries’ export activity on their technological change and technological catch-up levels is nonlinear. Overall our findings suggest that up to a certain point, lower export shares enhance countries’ technological catch-up levels. The results also reveal that higher export shares affect positively their technological change levels. Finally, in a second stage analysis we apply a location-scale regression model in order to estimate the idiosyncratic part of the estimated production efficiencies. This measure is a proxy of Solow’s residual accounting for aggregate effects of other factors not included in our estimation.


Exports Technological change Technological catch up Conditional efficiency Latin America 

JEL classifications

C14 F14 O47 



I would like to thank the Associate Editor and the anonymous reviewers for their useful and constructive comments. Any remaining errors are solely the author’s responsibility.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declare that he has no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece

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