Imports and Productivity: The Impact of Geography and Factor Intensity

Tjalling C. Koopmans Research Institute Discussion Paper Series nr: 13-12

37 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2013 Last revised: 20 Apr 2018

See all articles by Marcel van den Berg

Marcel van den Berg

Statistics Netherlands

Charles van Marrewijk

Utrecht University - School of Economics

Date Written: September 16, 2013

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Firm heterogeneity, imports, productivity, geography, factor intensity

JEL Classification: D22, F14, F23

Suggested Citation

van den Berg, Marcel and van Marrewijk, Charles, Imports and Productivity: The Impact of Geography and Factor Intensity (September 16, 2013). Tjalling C. Koopmans Research Institute Discussion Paper Series nr: 13-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2329667 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2329667

Marcel Van den Berg (Contact Author)

Statistics Netherlands ( email )

CBS-weg 11
Heerlen, Limburg 6412 EX
Netherlands

Charles Van Marrewijk

Utrecht University - School of Economics ( email )

Kriekenpitplein 21-22
Adam Smith Building
Utrecht, 3584 EC
Netherlands
*31-(0)30-2539810 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.charlesvanmarrewijk.nl

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