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Teaching locals new tricks: foreign experts as a channel of knowledge transfer

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  • Markusen, James R.
  • Trofimenko, Natalia

Abstract

Gains from productivity and knowledge transmission arising from the presence of foreign firms have received a good deal of empirical attention, but theoretical micro-foundations for this mechanism are limited. Here we develop a dynamic model in which foreign experts may train domestic workers who work with them. Gains from training can in turn be decomposed into two types: (a) obtaining knowledge and skills at a lower cost than if they were self-learnt at home, (b) producing domestic skilled workers earlier in time than if the domestic economy had to rediscover the relevant knowledge through 'reinventing the wheel.' We use fixed effects and nearest neighbour matching estimators on a panel of plant-level data for Colombia that identifies the use of foreign experts, to show that these experts have substantial, although not always immediate, positive effects on the wages of domestic workers and on the value added per worker.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6118.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6118

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Keywords: foreign experts; knowledge transfer; spillovers;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj & Munch, Jakob R. & Skaksen, Jan Rose, 2011. "Do Foreign Experts Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms?," IZA Discussion Papers 6001, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Nathan, Max, 2013. "The Wider Economic Impacts of High-Skilled Migrants: A Survey of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7653, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Zakharenko, Roman, 2007. "Migration, Learning, and Development," MPRA Paper 6262, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Serafinelli, Michel, 2013. "Good Firms, Worker Flows and Productivity," MPRA Paper 49055, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 Aug 2013.
  5. Bianka Dettmer, 2012. "Business services outsourcing and economic growth: Evidence from a dynamic panel data approach," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-049, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  6. Nikolaj Malchow-Møller & James R. Markusen & Bertel Schjerning, 2009. "Foreign Firms, Domestic Wages," CAM Working Papers 2009-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  7. Kunal Dasgupta, 2010. "Learning and Knowledge Diffusion in a Global Economy," Working Papers tecipa-410, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  8. Stoyanov, Andrey & Zubanov, Nikolay, 2013. "Money on the Table? Firms' and Workers' Gains from Productivity Spillovers through Worker Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 7702, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Roberto Alvarez & Ricardo Lopez, 2006. "Is Exporting a Source of Productivity Spillovers?," Caepr Working Papers 2006-012, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  10. Horst Raff & Natalia Trofimenko, 2013. "World Market Access of Emerging-Market Firms: The Role of Foreign Ownership and Access to External Finance," CESifo Working Paper Series 4346, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Thomas Sampson, 2012. "Brain drain or brain gain? Technology diffusion and learning on-the-job," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51503, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Thomas Sampson, 2012. "Brain Drain or Brain Gain? Technology Diffusion and Learning On-the-job," CEP Discussion Papers dp1168, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Tingvall, Patrik Gustavsson & Poldahl, Andreas, 2011. "Determinants of Firm R&D: The Role of Relationship-specific Interactions for R&D Spillovers," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 251, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  14. Adam Blake & Ziliang Deng & Rod Falvey, . "How Does the Productivity of Foreign Direct Investment Spill over to Local Firms in Chinese Manufacturing?," Discussion Papers 09/03, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  15. Sampson, Thomas, 2013. "Brain drain or brain gain? Technology diffusion and learning on-the-job," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 162-176.

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