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Imports and productivity: the impact of geography and factor intensity

Listed author(s):
  • M.R. van den Berg
  • C. van Marrewijk

Using micro-data for Dutch firms, we argue that the productivity spillovers from importing technology intensive products from Taiwan differ from importing unskilled-labor intensive products from Switzerland. We show that both the geographic component (what country is the import from) and the intensity component (what type of good is imported) is crucial for measuring and understanding these spillovers. We show that increasing distance and decreasing levels of development of the origin economy negatively affect the diffusion of efficiency gains embodied in imported goods. Similarly, these gains are larger for technology intensive goods and smaller for unskilled-labor intensive goods. This implies that the geographic-intensity markets are unique and cannot be lumped together. In addition, a diversified import portfolio (the extensive dimension) is always positively associated with firm-level productivity.

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File URL: https://dspace.library.uu.nl/bitstream/handle/1874/290091/13-12.pdf
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Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 13-12.

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Date of creation: 2013
Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:1312
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  1. Jan Hagemejer & Marcin Kolasa, 2011. "Internationalisation and Economic Performance of Enterprises: Evidence from Polish Firm‐level Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 74-100, 01.
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  3. Arjan Lejour & harold creusen, 2011. "Uncertainty and the export decisions of Dutch firms," CPB Discussion Paper 183, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. Coe, David T. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "International R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 859-887, May.
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  6. Armando Silva & Oscar Afonso & Ana Paula Africano, 2012. "Which manufacturing firms learn by exporting?," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(6), pages 773-805, December.
  7. Sébastien Miroudot & Rainer Lanz & Alexandros Ragoussis, 2009. "Trade in Intermediate Goods and Services," OECD Trade Policy Papers 93, OECD Publishing.
  8. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
  9. Ram C. Acharya & Wolfgang Keller, 2009. "Technology transfer through imports," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1411-1448, November.
  10. Girma, Sourafel & Gorg, Holger & Strobl, Eric, 2004. "Exports, international investment, and plant performance: evidence from a non-parametric test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 317-324, June.
  11. Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2009. "Self-selection along different export and import markets," LEM Papers Series 2009/18, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  12. Coe, David T & Helpman, Elhanan & Hoffmaister, Alexander W, 1997. "North-South R&D Spillovers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 134-149, January.
  13. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  14. Davide Castellani & Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2010. "Firms in International Trade: Importers' and Exporters' Heterogeneity in Italian Manufacturing Industry," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 424-457, 03.
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