This article analyzes factors shaping technological capabilities in USA and European countries, and shows that the differences between the two continents in this respect are much smaller than commonly assumed. The analysis demonstrates a tendency toward convergence in technological capabilities for the sample as a whole between 1998 and 2008. The results indicate that social capabilities, such as well-developed public knowledge infrastructure, an egalitarian distribution of income, a participatory democracy and prevalence of public safety condition the growth of technological capabilities. Possible effects of other factors, such as agglomeration, urbanization, industrial specialization, migration and knowledge spillovers are also considered.
Journal of Economic Geography, 2014, Vol 14, Issue 2, p. 313-337