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Learning from trade through innovation: Causal link between imports, exports and innovation in Spanish microdata

Author

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  • Jože.P.Damijan
  • ÄŒrt. Kostevc

Abstract

The paper explores the learning from trade hypothesis. Standardized research approach searchs for learning e¤ects from trade focusing solely on exports, whereby …rm’s learning e¤ects are accounted in the form of total factor productivity improvements. In contrast, this papers de…nes a …rm learning from trade in terms of introduction of either new products or processes induced by its import and export links with foreign markets. By using microdata for a large sample of Spanish …rms, including data on innovation and trade, we …nd clear sequencing between imports, exports and innovation. The results suggest that …rms learn primarily from import links, which enables them to innovate products and processes and to dress up for starting to export. In a sequence, exporting may enable …rms to introduce further innovations. These positive learning e¤ects from trade, however, seem to be limited to small and partially medium …rms only. On the other side, …rms that are closer to the relevant technological frontier seem to bene…t more from trading activities in terms of innovation than the technological laggard fi…rms.

Suggested Citation

  • Jože.P.Damijan & ÄŒrt. Kostevc, 2010. "Learning from trade through innovation: Causal link between imports, exports and innovation in Spanish microdata," LICOS Discussion Papers 26410, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:26410
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    File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/licos/publications/dp/dp264.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carlo Altomonte & Tommaso Aquilante & Gábor Békés & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2013. "Internationalization and innovation of firms: evidence and policy," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 28(76), pages 663-700, October.
    2. Feng, Ling & Li, Zhiyuan & Swenson, Deborah L., 2016. "The connection between imported intermediate inputs and exports: Evidence from Chinese firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 86-101.
    3. Joakim Gullstrand & Karin Olofsdotter & Susanna Thede, 2016. "Importers, Exporters and Multinationals: Exploring the Hierarchy of International Linkages," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 495-514, July.
    4. Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2013. "Importing, Productivity and Absorptive Capacity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Firms," wiiw Working Papers 105, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    5. Joachim Wagner, 2012. "International trade and firm performance: a survey of empirical studies since 2006," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(2), pages 235-267, June.
    6. Peñasco, Cristina & del Río, Pablo & Romero-Jordán, Desiderio, 2017. "Analysing the Role of International Drivers for Eco-innovators," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 56-71.
    7. Martijn Boermans & Hein Roelfsema, 2015. "The Effects of Internationalization on Innovation: Firm-Level Evidence for Transition Economies," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 333-350, April.
    8. Békés, Gábor & Halpern, László & Muraközy, Balázs, 2013. "Külkereskedelem és a vállalatok közötti különbségek
      [Heterogeneous firms and foreign trade]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 1-24.
    9. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Â…rm heterogeneity; innovation; exports; imports; matching;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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