WTO Working Papers

WTO working papers usually represent research in progress. Such research may be conducted in the preparation of WTO Secretariat reports, studies or other material for WTO members. The papers are circulated for comment because the WTO considers critical review of professional research to be extremely important.


Knowledge Spillovers through International Supply Chains

Using industry-level R&D and patent data for a sample of 29 countries for the period 2000-2008, we study the importance of international supply linkages for knowledge spillovers. We find a statistically significant effect of supply chains on international knowledge spillovers. We show that knowledge spillovers increase with the intensity of supply chains linkages between countries. We also show that the evidence that knowledge spillovers flow along the supply chains is more robust than the traditional finding that knowledge spillovers depend on geographical distance or trade flows. Our findings support policies that favour participation in supply chains to foster economic development, but also show that potential gains depend on the type of participation.


Keywords: Innovation, Knowledge spillovers, International production networks, Intermediate inputs trade
JEL: F43: International Economics / Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance / Economic Growth of Open Economies; F63: International Economics / Economic Impacts of Globalization / Economic Impacts of Globalization: Economic Development; O31: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights / Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
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