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R&D, International Sourcing, and the Joint Impact on Firm Performance


  • Esther Ann Bøler
  • Andreas Moxnes
  • Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe


This paper studies the impact of an R&D cost shock on R&D investments, imported inputs, and their joint impact on firm performance. We introduce imported inputs into a model of R&D and endogenous productivity, and show that R&D and international sourcing are complementary activities. Exploiting the introduction of an R&D tax credit in Norway in 2002, we find that cheaper R&D stimulated not only R&D investments but also imports of intermediates, quantitatively consistent with the model. An implication of our work is that improved access to imported inputs promotes R&D investments and, ultimately, technological change. (JEL D92, F14, G31, H25, L25, O32, O33)

Suggested Citation

  • Esther Ann Bøler & Andreas Moxnes & Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe, 2015. "R&D, International Sourcing, and the Joint Impact on Firm Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3704-3739, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:12:p:3704-39
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20121530

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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Bas & Antoine Berthou, 2017. "Does Input-Trade Liberalization Affect Firms’ Foreign Technology Choice?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(2), pages 351-384.
    2. Dechezlepretre, Antoine & Einiö, Elias & Martin, Ralf & Nguyen, Kieu-Trang & Reenen, John Van, 2016. "Do tax incentives for research increase firm innovation? An RD design for R&D," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66428, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Sébastien Jean & Ariell Reshef, 2017. "Why Trade, and What Would Be the Consequences of Protectionism?," CEPII Policy Brief 2017-18, CEPII research center.
    4. Takalo, Tuomas & Tanayama, Tanja & Toivanen, Otto, 2017. "Welfare Effects of R&D Support Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 12155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Chen, Shiu-Sheng, 2017. "Exchange rate undervaluation and R&D activity," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 148-160.
    6. Réka Juhász, 2014. "Temporary Protection and Technology Adoption: Evidence from the Napoleonic Blockade," CEP Discussion Papers dp1322, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. David Hummels & Jakob R. Munch & Chong Xiang, 2018. "Offshoring and Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 981-1028, September.
    8. Anders Rosenstand Laugesen, 2015. "Asymmetric Monotone Comparative Statics for the Industry Compositions," Economics Working Papers 2015-22, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    9. Juhász, Réka, 2014. "Temporary protection and technology adoption: evidence from the Napoleonic blockade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60697, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Marit E. Klemetsen, 2015. "The effects of innovation policies on firm level patenting," Discussion Papers 830, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    11. Zhiyuan Chen & Aksel Erbahar & Yuan Zi, 2019. "Made and Created in China: Super Processors and Two-way Heterogeneity," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-080/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. Eduardo Morales & Kamran Bilir, 2015. "The Impact of Innovation in the Multinational Firm," 2015 Meeting Papers 238, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Jordi Jaumandreu & Shuheng Lin, 2018. "Prices under Innovation: Evidence from Manufacturing Firms," Working Papers 2019-07-04, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University.
    14. Miklós Koren & Márton Csillag, 2017. "Machines and Machinists: Importing Skill-Biased Technology," CEU Working Papers 2017_1, Department of Economics, Central European University.
    15. Teresa C. Fort, 2017. "Technology and Production Fragmentation: Domestic versus Foreign Sourcing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 650-687.
    16. Vencappa, Dev & Stiebale, Joel, 2017. "Import Competition and Vertical Integration: Evidence from India," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168237, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. Ge, Ying & Fang, Tony & Jiang, Yeheng, 2019. "Access to Imported Intermediates and Intra-Firm Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 12246, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. L. Kamran Bilir & Eduardo Morales, 2016. "Innovation in the Global Firm," NBER Working Papers 22160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Tuhkuri, Joonas, 2016. "Trade and Innovation: Matched Worker-Firm-Level Evidence," ETLA Working Papers 39, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    20. Coelli, Federica & Moxnes, Andreas & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene, 2016. "Better, Faster, Stronger: Global Innovation and Trade Liberalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 11506, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Zhu, Hui & Zhu, Steven X., 2017. "Corporate innovation and economic freedom: Cross-country comparisons," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 50-65.
    22. Chen, Zhiyuan & Zhang, Jie & Zheng, Wenping, 2017. "Import and innovation: Evidence from Chinese firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 205-220.
    23. Goel, Manisha, 2017. "Offshoring – Effects on technology and implications for the labor market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 217-239.
    24. Brita Bye & Marit Klemetsen & Arvid Raknerud, 2019. "The impact of public R&D support on firms' patenting," Discussion Papers 911, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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