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Imports, Innovation and Employment after Crisis: Evidence from a Developing Country


  • Caroline Paunov



Imports are often perceived as a threat to employment. However, access to imported intermediate inputs can be essential to stimulate innovation and generate employment. We investigate this question based on a unique dataset of Ecuadorian manufacturing firms, their final products and intermediate inputs. Using fixed effects instrumental variable estimation we find that firms' importing activities lead to product innovation, increase firms' product scope, reduce production costs and create employment. These impacts arise not only for producers in high-tech industries but also for firms in more traditional sectors. Employment effects are much stronger several years after the country's economic crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline Paunov, 2011. "Imports, Innovation and Employment after Crisis: Evidence from a Developing Country," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2011/5, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:stiaaa:2011/5-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Byron Gangnes & Ari Van Assche, 2010. "Global Production Networks in Electronics and Intra-Asian Trade," Working Papers 201004, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    2. Norihiko Yamano & Nadim Ahmad, 2006. "The OECD Input-Output Database: 2006 Edition," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2006/8, OECD Publishing.
    3. Athukorala, Prema–Chandra & Menon, Jayant, 2010. "Global Production Sharing, Trade Patterns, and Determinants of Trade Flows in East Asia," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 41, Asian Development Bank.
    4. Capannelli, Giovanni & Lee, Jong-Wha & Petri, Peter, 2009. "Developing Indicators for Regional Economic Integration and Cooperation," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 33, Asian Development Bank.
    5. Koen De Backer & Norihiko Yamano, 2007. "The Measurement of Globalisation using International Input-Output Tables," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2007/8, OECD Publishing.
    6. Dong Guo & Colin Webb & Norihiko Yamano, 2009. "Towards Harmonised Bilateral Trade Data for Inter-Country Input-Output Analyses: Statistical Issues," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2009/4, OECD Publishing.
    7. Kimura, Fukunari & Ando, Mitsuyo, 2005. "Two-dimensional fragmentation in East Asia: Conceptual framework and empirics," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 317-348.
    8. Ecochard, Pierre & Fontagné, Lionel & Gaulier, Guillaume & Zignago, Soledad, 2005. "Intra-industry trade and regional integration," MPRA Paper 44182, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item


    economic crisis; Ecuador; employment; imports; input production costs; intermediate inputs; multi-product firms; product innovation; product scope;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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