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Trade and product innovations as sources for productivity increases: an empirical analysis

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  • Butter, Frank A.G. den

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

  • Wit, Paul
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    Abstract

    Commonly increases in total factor productivity (TFP) are associated with technological innovations measured by R&D expenditures. Empirical evidence seems to corroborate this relationship. However, in trading countries like the Netherlands, productivity increases, even in industry, can also be the result of innovations in the way transactions are managed. These innovations reduce transaction costs and exploit the welfare gains from (further) international division of labour. Such innovations are only partly included in R&D data. Consequently there is not much attention for these "trade innovations" - as we label them - in policy. In an empirical analysis this paper compares the influence of trade innovations with the influence of R&D expenditures on TFP in various industrialized countries. It appears that, at least in the Netherlands, trade innovations are as important for TFP as technological innovations which directly affect the efficiency of production, and which we label "product innovations".

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0013.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:dgr:vuarem:2006-13

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    Keywords: R&D; Innovation; Transaction costs; Total factor productivity;

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    8. Lumenga-Neso, Olivier & Olarreaga, Marcelo & Schiff, Maurice, 2005. "On `indirect' trade-related R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1785-1798, October.
    9. North, Douglass C & Wallis, John Joseph, 1982. "American Government Expenditures: A Historical Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 336-40, May.
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    11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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