Imports, Productivity and Origin Markets: The Role of Knowledge-intensive Economies

Authors

  • Hans Lööf,

    1. Department of Transport and Economics, and Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS), Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
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  • Martin Andersson

    1. Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, and Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS), Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
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  • We are grateful to Joachim Wagner, two anonymous referees and participants at the ISGEP workshop in Nottingham, UK, for helpful comments which substantially improved the paper. We acknowledge financial support from VINNOVA (the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems).

Abstract

We investigate the impact of international knowledge transfers on productivity at the firm level. The flow of knowledge across borders is measured through imports from different markets. Using a dynamic panel GMM estimation on Swedish manufacturing firms with 10 or more employees over the period 1997–2004, three important results emerge. First, there is an instantaneous positive effect of imports on productivity. Second, the evidence points towards a distinct role of imports from the G7 countries, which accounts for 80 per cent of global R&D. Third, sensitivity analyses show that G7 imports are also important for small and non-affiliated firms.

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