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Technology Upgrading, Exporting and Heterogeneous Firms

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Abstract

Empirical evidence shows that R&D spending is highly correlated with firm productivity, highly concentrated among large firms, and responsive to trade liberalization. This paper develops a model of product upgrading with heterogeneous firms that captures these characteristics by allowing firms to choose their optimal level of fixed cost spending from a continuum. The endogenous component of fixed costs is assumed to represent R&D or product development that is spent once but reaps demand benefits over all the markets the firm serves. This mechanism encourages firms to export and capture economies of scale in fixed cost spending. The model makes two new predictions. The first prediction is that exporters upgrade while domestic firms cut costs when trade liberalizes. The second prediction is that the selection effect of trade liberalization is weaker in industries characterized by intense upgrading competition between firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferguson, Shon, 2010. "Technology Upgrading, Exporting and Heterogeneous Firms," Research Papers in Economics 2010:16, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2010_0016
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    File URL: http://www2.ne.su.se/paper/wp10_16.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan A. Máñez & María E. Rochina-Barrachina & Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis & Oscar Vicente, 2013. "Financial constraints and Spanish manufacturing firms’ R&D and exporting," Working Papers 1324, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Trade; Upgrading; Trade Liberalization;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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