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Can You Teach Old Dragons New Tricks? FDI and Innovation Activity in Chinese State-Owned Enterprises

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  • Girma, Sourafel
  • Gong, Yundan
  • Görg, Holger

Abstract

We investigate whether inward FDI, either at the firm or industry level, has any impact on product innovation by Chinese State owned enterprises (SOEs). We use a comprehensive firm level panel data set of Chinese SOEs covering the period 1999 to 2003. Our results show that foreign capital participation is associated with higher innovative activity. Inward FDI in the sector has a negative effect on innovative activity in SOEs. However, there is a positive effect of FDI on SOEs that export, invest in human capital or R&D, or have prior innovation experience. We also find that SOEs with internal R&D activity and human capital development are successful innovators. Hence, our results suggest that rather than relying on sector level inward FDI to improve domestic innovative activity, it is important to get the firm-level fundamentals right.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5838.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5838

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Keywords: China; competition; FDI; innovation; spillovers; state-owned enterprises;

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  1. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and innovation: an inverted U relationship," IFS Working Papers W02/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Beata Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2006. "To Share or Not To Share: Does Local Participation Matter for Spillovers from Foreign Direct Investment?," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2006-001, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  3. Gary Jefferson & Bai Huamao & Guan Xiaojing & Yu Xiaoyun, 2006. "R&D Performance in Chinese industry," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4-5), pages 345-366.
  4. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Sourafel Girma, 2005. "Absorptive Capacity and Productivity Spillovers from FDI: A Threshold Regression Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(3), pages 281-306, 06.
  6. Newey, Whitney K., 1987. "Efficient estimation of limited dependent variable models with endogenous explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 231-250, November.
  7. Albert G. Z. Hu & Gary H. Jefferson & Qian Jinchang, 2005. "R&D and Technology Transfer: Firm-Level Evidence from Chinese Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 780-786, November.
  8. Ann E. Harrison & Brian J. Aitken, 1999. "Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 605-618, June.
  9. Gorg, Holger & Strobl, Eric, 2001. "Multinational Companies and Productivity Spillovers: A Meta-analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F723-39, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Masso, Jaan & Roolaht, Tõnu & Varblane, Urmas, 2010. "Foreign direct investment and innovation in Central and eastern Europe : evidence from Estonia," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2010-05, Bank of Estonia, revised 14 Apr 2010.
  2. Priit Vahter, 2010. "Does FDI spur innovation, productivity and knowledge sourcing by incumbent firms? Evidence from manufacturing industry in Estonia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp986, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. Jeon, Yongbok & Park, Byung Il & Ghauri, Pervez N., 2013. "Foreign direct investment spillover effects in China: Are they different across industries with different technological levels?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 105-117.
  4. 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.
  5. Almeida, Rita K. & Fernandes, Ana Margarida, 2007. "Openness and Technological Innovations in Developing Countries: Evidence from Firm-Level Surveys," IZA Discussion Papers 2907, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Todo, Yasuyuki & Zhang, Weiying & Zhou, Li-An, 2009. "Knowledge spillovers from FDI in China: The role of educated labor in multinational enterprises," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 626-639, November.
  7. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 2007. "When Does FDI Have Positive Spillovers? Evidence from 17 Emerging Market Economies," IZA Discussion Papers 3079, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Liu, Xiaohui & Buck, Trevor, 2007. "Innovation performance and channels for international technology spillovers: Evidence from Chinese high-tech industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 355-366, April.
  9. Lin, Ping & Liu, Zhuomin & Zhang, Yifan, 2009. "Do Chinese domestic firms benefit from FDI inflow?: Evidence of horizontal and vertical spillovers," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 677-691, December.

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