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Imports, Productivity and the Origin Markets -the role of knowledge-intensive economies


  • Lööf, Hans

    () (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)

  • Andersson, Martin

    () (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)


This paper investigates whether domestic firms’ productivity is an increasing function of imports from the most knowledge intensive economies in the world, i.e. the G7 countries. Using Swedish firm-level data, we confirm an instantaneous causality going from imports to productivity. We also show that productivity is increasing in the G7-fraction of total imports. Our results highlight the importance of import flows from R&D and knowledge intensive economies for productivity and are consistent with imports being a vehicle for technology diffusion. Tests of the sensitivity of the results suggest that G7 imports are particularly important for firms in high-technology sectors and for firms belonging to multinationals and domestic corporations.

Suggested Citation

  • Lööf, Hans & Andersson, Martin, 2008. "Imports, Productivity and the Origin Markets -the role of knowledge-intensive economies," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 146, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0146

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2014. "Does importing more inputs raise exports? Firm-level evidence from France," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(2), pages 241-275, May.
    2. David Aristei & Davide Castellani & Chiara Franco, 2013. "Firms’ exporting and importing activities: is there a two-way relationship?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 149(1), pages 55-84, March.

    More about this item


    Technology diffusion; productivity; imports; panel data; GMM;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • 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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