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Imports and productivity: the impact of geography and factor intensity

  • 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: http://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
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Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:1312
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  1. Ram C. Acharya & Wolfgang Keller, 2007. "Technology Transfer through Imports," NBER Working Papers 13086, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. David T. Coe & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "International R&D Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Harold Creusen & Arjan Lejour, 2011. "Uncertainty and the export decisions of Dutch firms," FIW Working Paper series 069, FIW.
  7. Jan Hagemejer & Marcin Kolasa, 2008. "Internationalization and economic performance of enterprises: evidence from firm-level data," National Bank of Poland Working Papers 51, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute.
  8. Sébastien Miroudot & Rainer Lanz & Alexandros Ragoussis, 2009. "Trade in Intermediate Goods and Services," OECD Trade Policy Papers 93, OECD Publishing.
  9. 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.
  10. David T. Coe & Elhanan Helpman & Alexander Hoffmaister, 1995. "North-South R&D Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 5048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Hans Lööf & Martin Andersson, 2010. "Imports, Productivity and Origin Markets: The Role of Knowledge-intensive Economies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 458-481, 03.
  15. 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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