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Spillovers through backward linkages from multinationals: Measurement matters!

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  • Barrios, Salvador
  • Görg, Holger
  • Strobl, Eric

Abstract

We argue that the measures of backward linkages used in recent papers on spillovers from multinational companies are potentially problematic, as they depend on a number of restrictive assumptions, namely that (i) multinationals use domestically produced inputs in the same proportion as imported inputs, (ii) multinationals have the same input sourcing behaviour as domestic firms, irrespective of their country of origin, and (iii) the demand for locally produced inputs by multinationals is proportional to their share of locally produced output. We discuss why these assumptions are likely to be violated in practice, and provide alternative measures that overcome these drawbacks. Our results, using plant level data for Ireland, clearly show that the choice of backward linkage measure and thus, the assumptions behind it, matters greatly in order to draw possible conclusions regarding the existence of foreign direct investment (FDI)-related spillovers. Using the standard measure employed in the literature we fail to find robust evidence for spillovers through backward linkages. However, when we use alternative measures of backward linkages that relax assumptions (i)-(iii), we find robust evidence for positive FDI backward spillover effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 55 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (August)
Pages: 862-875

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:6:p:862-875

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

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Keywords: Multinationals Backward spillovers Productivity spillovers Linkages;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Franco, Chiara, 2013. "Exports and FDI motivations: Empirical evidence from U.S. foreign subsidiaries," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 47-62.
  2. Godart, Olivier & Görg, Holger, 2013. "Suppliers of Multinationals and the Forced Linkage Effect: Evidence from Firm Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 7173, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Priit Vahter, 2010. "Does Fdi Spur Innovation, Productivity And Knowledge Sourcing By Incumbent Firms? Evidence From Manufacturing Industry In Estonia," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 69, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
  4. Tomáš Havránek & Zuzana Iršová, 2011. "How to Stir Up FDI Spillovers: Evidence from a Large Meta-Analysis," Working Papers IES 2011/34, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Oct 2011.
  5. JINJI Naoto & ZHANG Xingyuan & HARUNA Shoji, 2011. "Does the Structure of Multinational Enterprises' Activity Affect Technology Spillovers?," Discussion papers 11027, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  6. Joze P. Damijan & Matija Rojec & Boris Majcen & Mark Knell, 2008. "Impact of Firm Heterogeneity on Direct and Spillover Effects of FDI: Micro Evidence from Ten Transition Countries," LICOS Discussion Papers 21808, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  7. Godart, Olivier N. & Görg, Holger, 2013. "Suppliers of multinationals and the forced linkage effect: Evidence from firm level data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 393-404.
  8. Juliette Milgram-Baleix, 2009. "Do Spanish firms learn from firms located nearby?," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2009/09, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  9. Merlevede, Bruno & Schoors, Koen & Spatareanu, Mariana, 2014. "FDI Spillovers and Time since Foreign Entry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 108-126.
  10. Vassilis Monastiriotis, 2014. "Origin of FDI and domestic productivity spillovers: does European FDI have a 'productivity advantage' in the ENP countries?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55267, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Tomas Havranek & Zuzana Irsova, 2012. "Survey Article: Publication Bias in the Literature on Foreign Direct Investment Spillovers," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(10), pages 1375-1396, October.
  12. Nobuaki Yamashita & Toshiyuki Matsuura & Kentaro Nakajima, 2013. "Agglomeration effects of inter-firm backward and forward linkages: evidence from Japanese manufacturing investment in China," Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Discussion Paper Series 2012-042, Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Program.
  13. Carluccio, Juan & Fally, Thibault, 2013. "Foreign entry and spillovers with technological incompatibilities in the supply chain," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 123-135.
  14. Tanaka, Kiyoyasu & Hashiguchi, Yoshihiro, 2012. "Spatial spillovers from FDI agglomeration : evidence from the Yangtze River Delta in China," IDE Discussion Papers 354, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  15. Nishimura, Junichi & Okamuro, Hiroyuki, 2013. "Knowledge and rent spillovers through government-sponsored R&D consortia," Working Paper Series 24, Center for Interfirm Network, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  16. Carol Newman & John Rand & Theodore Talbot & Finn Tarp, 2014. "Technology transfers, foreign investment and productivity spillovers: evidence from Vietnam," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp440, IIIS.
  17. ITO Keiko, 2011. "Entry of Foreign Multinational Firms and Productivity Growth of Domestic Firms: The case of Japanese firms," Discussion papers 11063, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  18. Del Bo, Chiara F., 2013. "FDI spillovers at different levels of industrial and spatial aggregation: Evidence from the electricity sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1490-1502.

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