Why do we need a theory and metrics of technology upgrading?

S. Radosevic, Esin Yoruk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


This paper discusses why we need a theory and metrics of technology upgrading. It critically reviews existing approaches to technology upgrading, and proposes a theoretically relevant and empirically grounded intermediate conceptual and statistical framework to illustrate the types of challenges facing economies with different levels of income. It conceptualises technology upgrading as a three-dimensional process that considers the intensity and type of technology upgrading based on different types of innovation and technology activities; the broadening of technology upgrading through exploitation of technology and knowledge diversification; and interaction with the global economy via the import, adoption, and exchange of knowledge. We consider these to be necessary first steps towards a theory and metrics of technology upgrading and the generation of more relevant composite indicator of technology upgrading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-32
Number of pages16
JournalAsian Journal of Technology Innovation
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.


  • technology upgrading
  • growth
  • composite indicators
  • middle-income economies
  • R&D and innovation


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