Technological relatedness and asymmetrical firm productivity gains under market reforms in China

Anthony Howell, Canfei He, Rudai Yang, Cindy Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This article employs fixed effect quantile regression techniques to study the effects of technological relatedness on firm productivity and to investigate whether the size of those effects varies for low and high performing firms. Next, we consider how changes in the local industrial mix brought about by China's market reforms influence the ability of different types of firms to benefit from technological-related spillovers. The findings highlight the important role that technological relatedness has on increasing firm productivity, providing some support for the idea that regions should pursue a strategy of 'regional branching' to evolve the local industrial mix into related economic activities. The findings also reveal, however, that increasing technological relatedness may asymmetrically harm underperforming firms and widen disparities in productivity between local firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-515
Number of pages17
JournalCambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • firm productivity
  • quantile regression
  • relatedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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