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Title: Measurement, technology and international trade : a study in the economics of technology
Author: Zhao, Lei
ISNI:       0000 0004 2673 1194
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2009
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Economic activities comprising measurement embrace the science of metrology and its associated institutions, its diffusion through instrumentation and standardisation, and the use of measures by firms in their production and marketing activities. This thesis argues that the coherence of these activities provides a useful way of thinking about the role of technology in a modern economy. Emphasis is given throughout the thesis to the role of an 'infrastructure' of measurement in reducing transactions costs and enabling markets by assisting firms in the generation of product variety. The framework of measurement in an EU context is explored in chapter 2 of the thesis. The remainder of the thesis is devoted to a theoretical and empirical analysis of the role played by measurement in creating international trade and determining underlying patterns of trade. Chapter 3 provides contextual background, considering the existing literature on the theoretical and empirical analysis of international trade, with emphasis on the role played by technology and innovation. The monopolistic competition model of international trade - which focuses on the generation of variety - is identified as providing a particularly suitable vehicle for the theoretical analysis of how measurement impacts upon international trade. This model is developed in chapter 4 in a way which allows for the public good effect of measurement infrastructure supplementing the role of market size in these models. The hypotheses developed suggest that the strength of this infrastructure across industries should be positively related to the generation of intra-industry trade. Chapters 5 and 6 provide the empirical analysis of the thesis. Chapter 5 embeds the idea of measurement into standard models of intra-industry trade in the context of bilateral trade in the EU. It is found that proxies or the strength of the infrastructure based upon industrial standards, as well as measures of the use of instruments, are important determinants of intra-industry trade. In chapter 6 the question of whether measurement infrastructure is associated with patterns of UK trade is addressed. It is found that the intensity of standard use by industry has a positive and significant associated effect with both UK exports and UK imports, but is not a source of comparative advantage for the UK. Chapter 7 of the thesis summarises and provides a concluding discussion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available