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The European Journal of Applied Economics
2019, vol. 16, iss. 2, pp. 59-78
article language: English
document type: Original Scientific Paper
published on: 27/10/2019
doi: 10.5937/EJAE16-20133
Creative Commons License 4.0
The role of technology as an absorptive capacity in economic growth in emerging economies: A new approach
University of Ghana Business School, Department of Finance, Ghana



Studies have shown that the effects of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on economic growth have not always been direct, especially in developing regions; certain characteristics must exist in the economy for the effects of FDI to be well absorbed. Therefore, this study sought to assess the economic impact of FDI on economic growth in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, factoring in technology as an absorptive capacity. Because of the scarcity of data on a viable proxy for technology in the African context, we measure technology in a novel approach, using annual number of published innovation-related papers as a proxy for technological presence. Data from forty-three Sub-Saharan countries over a 19-year period (from 1990 to 2008) was analyzed. Using a Fixed Effects (FE) regression model, the study found that FDI had a negative and significant effect on GDP, which is our proxy for economic growth. However, when FDI is interacted with technology, the relationship turns positive and significant. This implies that countries with technological presence are more able to absorb from FDI than those with little technology. Furthermore, the study found that countries with high technology were able to absorb more from FDI than those with low technology.



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