International trade in ideas

Yuret T.

SCIENTOMETRICS, vol.107, no.3, pp.899-916, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 107 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11192-016-1883-8
  • Title of Journal : SCIENTOMETRICS
  • Page Numbers: pp.899-916


Geographical proximity, population, language and other cultural factors are given as reasons for international collaboration on scientific studies. These reasons are also used to analyze international trade in goods. The scientists exchange ideas in joint papers so international collaboration on scientific studies can be labeled as international trade in ideas. In this paper, we take on this perspective and establish a link between international trade in goods and ideas. First, we define export and import of ideas by using the co-authorship patterns. Second, we compute metrics such as net exports for the international trade in ideas. Third, we compare and contrast goods and ideas by using these metrics. Lastly, we use the international trade models such as the Hecksher-Ohlin model to analyze the factors that affect international trade in ideas. We find that the correlation is weak and even negative between international trade metrics for goods and ideas in general, but the correlation between some specific goods and ideas is positive and stronger. By using the Hecksher-Ohlin model, we explore reasons for comparative advantage in exporting ideas.