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How firm capabilities affect who benefits from foreign technology

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  • Blalock, Garrick
  • Gertler, Paul J.

Abstract

We explore how firm capabilities affect the diffusion of technology brought with foreign direct investment (FDI). Using a panel dataset on Indonesian manufacturers from 1988 to 1996, we measure how the productivity of differing domestic firms responds to the entry of multinational competitors. We find that firms with investments in research and development and firms with highly educated employees adopt more technology from foreign entrants than others. In contrast, firms that have a small "technology gap," meaning that they are close to the international best-practice frontier, benefit less than firms with weak prior technical competency. This finding suggests that the marginal return to new knowledge is greater for firms that have more room to "catch up" than it is for already competitive firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 90 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 192-199

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:90:y:2009:i:2:p:192-199

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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Keywords: Technology transfer Foreign direct investment Firm capabilities;

References

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  1. Magnus Blomstrom & Edward N. Wolff, 1989. "Multinational Corporations and Productivity Convergence in Mexico," NBER Working Papers 3141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Amil Petrin & Brian P. Poi & James Levinsohn, 2004. "Production function estimation in Stata using inputs to control for unobservables," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 113-123, June.
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  16. Theodore H. Moran, 2001. "Parental Supervision: The New Paradigm for Foreign Direct Investment and Development," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa64, November.
  17. Haddad, Mona & Harrison, Ann, 1993. "Are there positive spillovers from direct foreign investment? : Evidence from panel data for Morocco," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 51-74, October.
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