Is the Export-Led Growth Model Valid in Emerging Economies? The Role of Intellectual Capital




Export-led growth; intellectual capital; intellectual property; development model; emerging economies.


In recent years, emerging economies have been considered a new growth engine of the global economy. This study tests the export-led growth hypothesis with a sample of 31 emerging economies. Unlike other studies, in this research, intellectual capital is used as a variable affecting economic growth. The database for the study covers the period 1992–2019 and is divided into two sub-samples and two sub-periods. The study’s results make some notable contributions to the current literature. First, they confirm the export-led growth hypothesis in these economies. This empirical finding is the first evidence of this with the largest sample of emerging economies, filling an empirical research gap in the contemporary literature. Second, intellectual capital is found to have a positive impact on economic growth both directly and indirectly, in upper-middle-income countries. However, the positive effect of this variable is not confirmed in the lower-middle-income group. Third, education is considered a key factor supporting economic growth based on all estimated results. Conversely, pollution and poverty have a negative influence on economic growth in most study samples. Lastly, we derive some policy implications for improving economic growth in these emerging economies in the future.

Author Biography

Le Thanh Tung, Faculty of Economics and Public Management, Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Vietnam

Le Thanh Tung is an Associate Professor and the Dean at the Faculty of Economics and Public Management, Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Vietnam. His research interests are socio-economic policy analysis, public policy assessment, managerial economics and solutions for social issues. He has published some papers in international scientific journals (in Scopus and SSCI list) such as Asian Journal of Technology Innovation, Applied Economics Letters, Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development, Post-Communist Economies, Journal of Product & Brand Management, or Behaviour & Information Technology.

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