Scientific Catch-Up in Asian Economies: A Case Study for Solar Cell


A significant structural change in the pattern of economic development in Asian economies has been observed in recent years. We have seen many cases in which the Asian economies became the center of the world-wide production in an extremely short period of time after a new product entered the market. Also in the science, the number of papers written by Asian researchers has been increasing dramatically. In this situation, the existing studies cannot sufficiently explain the driving force and the mechanism of catch-up or economic growth. Therefore, it is now required to model this new type of economic development. In this paper we analyzed their scientific catch-up status using scientific papers on solar cells to clarify the structural change. After mid 1990s, knowledge creation has been accelerated in the field of solar cell. Now more than three thousand papers are published annually. We found as a result that the catch-up process in Asian economies had progressed rapidly, that some economies had a larger share of scientific papers in the frontier field of advanced science than in the matured fields, and that the strategy largely changed from area to area. A parallel-running-type growth model has thus been emerging in Asia. Responding to the significant changes in development model, we have to re-design the framework of economic cooperation. There is a need for further horizontal collaboration among major Asian economies and developed economies. We also showed that bibliometrics is an effective method for presuming a detailed national strategy that is not known to the outside.

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I. Sakata and H. Sasaki, "Scientific Catch-Up in Asian Economies: A Case Study for Solar Cell," Natural Resources, Vol. 4 No. 1A, 2013, pp. 134-141. doi: 10.4236/nr.2013.41A017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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