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How do Chinese industries benefit from FDI spillovers?


  • Ito, Banri
  • Yashiro, Naomitsu
  • Xu, Zhaoyuan
  • Chen, XiaoHong
  • Wakasugi, Ryuhei


Recently, Foreign Invested Enterprises (FIEs) in China have increased their investment in not only production activity but also R&D activity. This paper examines the impact of spillovers from such activities by FIEs on two types of innovations by Chinese domestic firms: Total Factor Productivity (TFP) and invention patent application, using comprehensive industry and province-level data. We evaluate such spillovers according to FIEs' ownership structure, the origin of foreign funds and whether they are from the same industry or from other industries. We find an interesting asymmetry between spillovers to TFP and invention patent applications; while we do not find significant intra-industry spillovers from FIEs but find robust inter-industries spillover related to TFP, we find substantial intra-industry spillovers promoting invention patent applications but no evidence of inter-industries spillovers. Furthermore, whereas spillovers from FIEs to Chinese firms' TFP stem from their production activities, the source of spillovers related to invention patent applications is mostly through their R&D activity. Our findings indicate a need for multidimensional evaluation of the role of FDI in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ito, Banri & Yashiro, Naomitsu & Xu, Zhaoyuan & Chen, XiaoHong & Wakasugi, Ryuhei, 2012. "How do Chinese industries benefit from FDI spillovers?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 342-356.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:23:y:2012:i:2:p:342-356
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2012.02.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Yi & Li, Xue & Lahiri, Sajal, 2016. "Determinants of privatization in China: The role of the presence of foreign firms," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 196-221.
    2. repec:tpr:asiaec:v:16:y:2017:i:2:p:55-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nasser Ary Tanimoune & Cécile Batisse & Mary-Françoise Renard, 2013. "Foreign Direct Investment across China: what should we learn from spatial dependences?," Working Papers halshs-00878888, HAL.
    4. Bin Ni, 2013. "Are Investment Promotion Agencies Doing the Thing Right? Evidence from China," OSIPP Discussion Paper 13E004Rev., Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University, revised Jan 2015.
    5. Hu, Cui & Xu, Zhaoyuan & Yashiro, Naomitsu, 2015. "Agglomeration and productivity in China: Firm level evidence," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 50-66.
    6. Zhang, Lin, 2017. "The knowledge spillover effects of FDI on the productivity and efficiency of research activities in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-14.
    7. Claudiu Tiberiu Albulescu & Matei Tămăşilă, 2016. "Exploring the role of FDI in enhancing the entrepreneurial activity in Europe: a panel data analysis," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 629-657, September.
    8. repec:eee:asieco:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:56-76 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    China; FDI spillovers; R&D; Innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East


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