Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Papers of Business and Economics,
University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics

No 18/2013: Innovation and trade policy coordination: the role of firm heterogeneity

Antonio Navas () and Davide Sala ()
Additional contact information
Antonio Navas: Department of Economics, Postal: University of Sheffield, 9 Mappin Street, S102TN Sheffield, United Kingdom
Davide Sala: Department of Business and Economics, Postal: University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark

Abstract: Recent studies have concluded that R&D grants can induce firms to export and that exporting and innovating can be complementary activities at the firm level. Yet the trade literature has paid little attention to the scope of innovation policy as a stimulus to both trade and innovation. To investigate this question we rely on a general work-horse model of trade and firm heterogeneity with firm investments in R&D activities. The multiplicity of equilibria together with the interplay of innovation and trade policies uncover novel results. In particular, we show that the effects of either policy depend on the degree of protectionism in a country. Therefore, countries can respond differently to the same policy, and similarly to different policies. In such a context, different governments may face different degrees of freedom regarding how to achieve a given target. This finding leads us to discuss the issue of policy coordination.

Keywords: Innovation; innovation policy; heterogeneous firms; technology adoption; trade policy

JEL-codes: F12; F13; F15; F61; O32

37 pages, November 4, 2013

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