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Do Institutions Matter for FDI Spillovers? The Implications of China's "Special Characteristics"

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  • Luosha Du
  • Ann Harrison
  • Gary Jefferson

Abstract

A number of recent studies examine productivity spillovers from foreign direct investment (FDI) to China’s domestic industrial enterprises. This study goes further by investigating the implications of institutions for the nature of productivity spillovers during 1998-2007. We examine three institutional features that comprise aspects of China’s “special characteristics”: (1) the different sources of FDI, where FDI is nearly evenly divided between mostly Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and the region known as “Greater China”, consisting of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau; (2) China’s heterogeneous ownership structure, involving state- (SOEs) and non-state owned (non-SOEs) enterprises, firms with foreign equity participation, and non-SOE, domestic firms; and (3) industrial promotion via tariffs or through tax holidays to foreign direct investment. We also explore how productivity spillovers from FDI changed with China’s entry into the WTO in late 2001. We find robust positive and significant spillovers to domestic firms via backward linkages (the contacts between foreign buyers and local suppliers). Our results suggest varied success with industrial promotion policies. Final goods tariffs as well as input tariffs are negatively associated with firm-level productivity. However, we find that productivity spillovers were higher from foreign firms that paid less than the statutory corporate tax rate.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16767.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16767

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  1. 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.
  2. Albert G. Z. Hu & Gary H. Jefferson, 2002. "FDI Impact and Spillover: Evidence from China's Electronic and Textile Industries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(8), pages 1063-1076, 08.
  3. Lin,Justin Yifu, 2009. "Economic Development and Transition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521735513, November.
  4. Blomstrom, Magnus, 1986. "Foreign Investment and Productive Efficiency: The Case of Mexico," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(1), pages 97-110, September.
  5. Harrison, Ann E. & Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 2009. "Trade, Foreign Investment, and Industrial Policy," MPRA Paper 15561, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Steven Globerman, 1979. "Foreign Direct Investment and `Spillover' Efficiency Benefits in Canadian Manufacturing Industries," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 12(1), pages 42-56, February.
  7. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  8. Blalock, Garrick & Gertler, Paul J., 2008. "Welfare gains from Foreign Direct Investment through technology transfer to local suppliers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 402-421, March.
  9. Harrison, Ann & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2010. "Trade, Foreign Investment, and Industrial Policy for Developing Countries," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  10. Brecher, Richard A. & Diaz Alejandro, Carlos F., 1977. "Tariffs, foreign capital and immiserizing growth," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 317-322, November.
  11. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & Lipsey, Robert E., 1996. "Wages and foreign ownership A comparative study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 345-371, May.
  12. Eduardo Borensztein & Jose De Gregorio & Jong-Wha Lee, 1995. "How Does Foreign Direct Investment Affect Economic Growth?," NBER Working Papers 5057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
  14. Nathan Nunn & Daniel Trefler, 2006. "Putting the Lid on Lobbying: Tariff Structure and Long-Term Growth when Protection is for Sale," NBER Working Papers 12164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Caves, Richard E, 1974. "Multinational Firms, Competition, and Productivity in Host-Country Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 41(162), pages 176-93, May.
  16. Lin, Justin Yifu & Monga, Celestin, 2011. "Growth identification and facilitation : the role of the state in the dynamics of structural change," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5313, The World Bank.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Kokko, Ari, 1994. "Technology, market characteristics, and spillovers," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 279-293, April.
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Blog mentions

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  1. Facciamo i conti
    by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2014-02-25 00:03:00
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Cited by:
  1. Timo Mitze & Selin Özyurt, 2012. "The spatial dimension of trade- and FDI-driven productivity growth in Chinese provinces: A global cointegration approach," ERSA conference papers ersa12p512, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Krammer, Sorin, 2010. "Do good institutions enhance the effect of technological spillovers on productivity? Comparative evidence from developed and transition economies," MPRA Paper 53985, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 07 Feb 2014.
  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. Bikash Ranjan Mishra, Dr., 2011. "Spill-over effects of foreign direct investment: an econometric study of Indian firms," MPRA Paper 37759, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Harrison, Ann & Sepulveda, Claudia, 2011. "Learning from developing country experience : growth and economic thought before and after the 2008-09 crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5752, The World Bank.

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