Learning From Trade Through Innovation: Causal Link Between Imports, Exports And Innovation In Spanish Microdata
The paper explores the learning from trade hypothesis. Standardized research approach searches for learning effects from trade focusing solely on exports, whereby firm's learning effects are accounted in the form of total factor productivity improvements. In contrast, this paper defines a firm learning from trade in terms of introduction of either new products or processes induced by its import and export links with foreign markets. By using micro data for a large sample of Spanish firms, including data on innovation and trade, the authors find clear sequencing between imports, exports and innovation. The results suggest that firms learn primarily from import links, which enables them to innovate products and processes and to dress up for starting to export.