Imports, productivity growth, and supply chain learning

Garrick Blalock*, Francisco M. Veloso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


We present evidence that importing is a source of international technology transfer. Using a detailed panel of Indonesian manufacturers, our analysis shows that firms in industries supplying increasingly import-intensive sectors have higher productivity growth than other firms. This finding suggests that linkages through vertical supply relationships are the channel through which import-driven technology transfer occurs. To our knowledge, these are the first firm-level results showing that downstream imports play a role in productivity gains. Together with the literature linking FDI and exporting to technology spillovers, the results provide a third component to the argument that trade and openness promote economic growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1151
Number of pages18
JournalWorld Development
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • Imports
  • Indonesia
  • Productivity
  • Southeast Asia
  • Supply chain
  • Technology transfer


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