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Imported intermediates, technological capabilities and exports: Evidence from Brazilian firm-level data

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  • Torres Mazzi, Caio

    (UNU-MERIT)

  • Foster-McGregor, Neil

    (UNU-MERIT)

Abstract

This paper explores how technological capabilities influence the relationship between imported inputs and the export performance of firms. We apply threshold regression techniques to a representative dataset of Brazilian firms and find a strong positive influence of innovation skills on the relationship between imported intermediates and export revenues. We further find that the complementarities between importing and exporting are stronger for firms that export products with a higher scope for quality differentiation. We also observe that technological capabilities are directly correlated with export performance, confirming the view that innovation positively influences firms' international competitiveness. This relationship is not found to be significant for firms that export products with a low scope for quality differentiation and that export to lower income non-OECD markets. Overall, our results suggest that technological capabilities and the quality of imported inputs not only benefit firms directly but also complement each other in enhancing export competitiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Torres Mazzi, Caio & Foster-McGregor, Neil, 2019. "Imported intermediates, technological capabilities and exports: Evidence from Brazilian firm-level data," MERIT Working Papers 2019-028, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2019028
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    Cited by:

    1. Ndubuisi, Gideon & Mensah, Emmanuel & Owusu, Solomon, 2020. "Export Variety and Imported Intermediate Inputs: Industry-Level Evidence from Africa," MPRA Paper 106008, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    imports; exports; productivity; innovation; technological capabilities; Brazil;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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