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Estimating the Productivity Selection and Technology Spillover Effects of Imports

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  • Acharya, Ram C.
  • Keller, Wolfgang

Abstract

In the wake of falling trade costs, two central consequences in the importing economy are, first, that stronger competition through increased imports can lead to market share reallocations among domestic firms with different productivity levels (selection). Second, the increase in imports might improve domestic technologies through learning externalities (spillovers). Each of these channels may have a major impact on aggregate productivity. This paper presents comparative evidence from a sample of OECD countries. We find that the average long run effect of an increase in imports on domestic productivity is close to zero. If the scope for technological learning is limited, the selection effect dominates and imports lead to lower productivity. If, however, imports are relatively technology-intensive, imports also generate learning that can on net raise domestic productivity. Moreover, there is somewhat less selection when the typical domestic firm is large. The results support models in which trade triggers both substantial selection and technological learning.

Suggested Citation

  • Acharya, Ram C. & Keller, Wolfgang, 2008. "Estimating the Productivity Selection and Technology Spillover Effects of Imports," CEPR Discussion Papers 6860, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6860
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    3. Mohammad M Rahaman, 2016. "Chinese import competition and the provisions for external debt financing in the US," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 47(8), pages 898-928, October.
    4. Edward N. Wolff, 2011. "Spillovers, Linkages, and Productivity Growth in the US Economy, 1958 to 2007," NBER Working Papers 16864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Christopher F. Baum & Hans Lööf & Pardis Nabavi & Andreas Stephan, 2017. "A new approach to estimation of the R&D–innovation–productivity relationship," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1-2), pages 121-133, February.
    6. Anna Bohnstedt, 2013. "Spillovers from Foreign Exporters," Ruhr Economic Papers 0400, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Anna Bohnstedt, 2016. "Spillovers from Foreign Exporters," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 150-170, February.
    8. Bezemer, Dirk & Grydaki, Maria, 2013. "Debt and the U.S. Great Moderation," MPRA Paper 47399, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Helena Schweiger & Guido Friebel, 2013. "Management Quality, Ownership, Firm Performance and Market Pressure in Russia," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 763-788, September.
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    12. Wolfgang Keller & Carol H. Shiue, 2013. "The Link Between Fundamentals and Proximate Factors in Development," NBER Working Papers 18808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. repec:ebd:wpaper:144 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Bohnstedt, Anna, 2013. "Spillovers from Foreign Exporters," Ruhr Economic Papers 400, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    15. repec:spr:laecrv:v:27:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s40503-017-0051-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Harris, Richard, 2009. "Spillover and backward linkage effects of FDI: empirical evidence for the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33206, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Kazuo Ogawa & Elmer Sterken & Ichiro Tokutsu, 2016. "International R&D Spillovers and Marginal Social Returns on R&D," CESifo Working Paper Series 6255, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Itzhak Goldberg & John Gabriel Goddard & Smita Kuriakose & Jean-Louis Racine, 2011. "Igniting Innovation : Rethinking the Role of Government in Emerging Europe and Central Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2358, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    market shares; R&D; Technology investments;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • 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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