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Does Trade Stimulate Innovation?: Evidence from Firm-Product Data

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  • Ana Margarida Fernandes
  • Caroline Paunov

Abstract

This paper investigates whether increased import competition leads firms to engage in incremental innovation reflected in product quality upgrading. The econometric analysis relies on a rich dataset of Chilean manufacturing firms and their products. Product quality is measured with unit values (prices) and imports’ transport costs are used as an exogenous proxy for import competition. The estimates show a negative effect of transport costs on product quality. The paper provides explicit evidence that estimated increases in unit values capture product quality upgrading, and that competition effects of imports explain our results. Easier access to intermediate inputs also fosters quality upgrading. Cet article examine si le fait d’être en compétition avec des produits d’importation affecte la décision des entreprises de s’engager dans l’innovation incrémentale, qui se reflète dans une amélioration de la qualité des produits. Les résultats économétriques sont fondés sur de riches données chiliennes d’entreprises et de leurs produits. La qualité des produits est mesurée par leur valeur unitaire (leur prix) et le coût de transport des importations est utilisé comme une mesure exogène du degré de compétition des importations. Les estimations montrent un effet négatif du coût de transport sur la qualité des produits. L’article démontre que les incréments dans la valeur unitaire reflètent les incréments dans la qualité des produits et que la compétition explique nos résultats. Un accès plus aisé aux produits intermédiaires participe également à une amélioration de la qualité des produits.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kmmp8g92x34-en
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 286.

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Date of creation: 26 Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:286-en

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Keywords: multi-product firms; output; import competition; product quality; Chile; incremental innovation; transport costs; firm level data; unit values; valeur unitaire de la production; données de firmes; coût de transport; innovation incrémentale; Chili; entreprises multi-produits; qualité des produits; compétition des importations;

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Cited by:
  1. Alfons Palangkaraya, 2013. "On the Relationship between Innovation and Export: The Case of Australian SMEs," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n04, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Alfons PALANGKARAYA, 2012. "The Link between Innovation and Export: Evidence from Australiafs Small and Medium Enterprises," Working Papers DP-2012-08, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
  3. Paulo Bastos & Odd Rune Straume, 2010. "Globalization, Product Differentiation and Wage Inequality," IDB Publications 6867, Inter-American Development Bank.
  4. Alessia LO TURCO & Daniela MAGGIONI, 2012. "Imports, exports and the firm product scope: evidence from Turkey," Working Papers 384, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  5. Julian P. Christ & Patricia Hofmann, 2010. "International Openness and Patent Activity: First Descriptive Results Very preliminary draft," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_055, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  6. Lo Turco, Alessia & Maggioni, Daniela, 2013. "Does Trade Foster Employment Growth in Emerging Markets? Evidence from Turkey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1-18.

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