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Technology and the generation of international knowledge spillovers: An application to Spanish manufacturing firms


  • Alvarez, Isabel
  • Molero, Jose


Technology is among firms ownership advantages explaining their internationalisation as, now for decades, the eclectic approach has highlighted. The debate about the positive versus negative effects that foreign capital generates in the host economy has gained a new relevance today insofar as, on the one hand, the concept of systems of innovation allows us to rethink the interaction with the domestic/recipient economies and, on the other, the increasing internationalisation of the technological activities of multinational companies (MNCs) introduces new forms of that interaction. Therefore, the possibility of generation of external effects by MNCs today demands a new reformulation of the problem. In this vein, one of the strengthening aspects commonly underlined is that foreign knowledge, not completely appropriable by the foreign firms, may spill over into domestic firms. However, since the findings of the empirical evidence are not fully confirmatory of the hypothesis, and taking into account the new conditions, this essay attempts to offer new light with research about the Spanish manufacturing firms. Two main issues are focused on this analysis. First, the importance of dynamics in the assessment of technological spillovers motivated by foreign direct investment (FDI), which is possible thanks to the availability of a panel data for manufacturing firms in Spain in the period 1991-1999. Second, the importance that technology may have for the generation of spillovers and to what extent the Pavitt taxonomy of industries is still useful for in depth analysis of such a learning process.
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  • Alvarez, Isabel & Molero, Jose, 2005. "Technology and the generation of international knowledge spillovers: An application to Spanish manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1440-1452, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:34:y:2005:i:9:p:1440-1452

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    3. Quintás, Mari­a A. & Vázquez, Xosé H. & Garci­a, José M. & Caballero, Gloria, 2008. "Geographical amplitude in the international generation of technology: Present situation and business determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1371-1381, September.
    4. Fernando Ubeda & Francisco Pérez-Hernández, 2017. "Absorptive Capacity and Geographical Distance Two Mediating Factors of FDI Spillovers: a Threshold Regression Analysis for Spanish Firms," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 1-28, March.
    5. Peñasco, Cristina & del Río, Pablo & Romero-Jordán, Desiderio, 2017. "Analysing the Role of International Drivers for Eco-innovators," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 56-71.
    6. Isabel Álvarez & Raquel Marín & Franciso J. Santos-Arteaga, 2011. "FDI entry modes, development and technological spillovers," Working Papers del Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales 1104, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales.
    7. Sánchez-Sellero, Pedro & Rosell-Martínez, Jorge & García-Vázquez, José Manuel, 2014. "Absorptive capacity from foreign direct investment in Spanish manufacturing firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 429-439.
    8. Livanis, Grigorios & Lamin, Anna, 2016. "Knowledge, Proximity and R&D Exodus," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 8-26.
    9. Reiter, S.L. & Steensma, H. Kevin, 2010. "Human Development and Foreign Direct Investment in Developing Countries: The Influence of FDI Policy and Corruption," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 1678-1691, December.
    10. J. Rosell-Martinez & P. Sanchez-Sellero, 2012. "Foreign direct investment and technical progress in Spanish manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(19), pages 2473-2489, July.
    11. Jiménez, Alfredo, 2010. "Does political risk affect the scope of the expansion abroad? Evidence from Spanish MNEs," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 619-633, December.
    12. Marin, Anabel & Sasidharan, Subash, 2010. "Heterogeneous MNC subsidiaries and technological spillovers: Explaining positive and negative effects in India," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1227-1241, November.
    13. Elisa Giuliani, 2010. "Multinational Corporations, Technology Spillovers and Human Rights's Impacts on Developing Countries," LEM Papers Series 2010/06, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    14. Isabel Álvarez & Raquel Marín, 2008. "FDI and world heterogeneities: The role of absorptive capacities," Working Papers del Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales 0806, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales.
    15. Anabel Marin & Ionara Costa, 2010. "Thinking locally: exploring the importance of a subsidiary-centred model of FDI-related spillovers in Brazil," International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(1), pages 87-107.
    16. Huang, Can & Qu, Zhe & Zhang, Mingqian & Zhao, Yanyun, 2007. "R&D offshoring and technology learning in emerging economies: Firm-level evidence from the ICT industry," MERIT Working Papers 023, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    17. Santamara, Llus & Nieto, Mara Jess & Barge-Gil, Andrs, 2009. "Beyond formal R&D: Taking advantage of other sources of innovation in low- and medium-technology industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 507-517, April.
    18. José Molero Zayas & Javier Portela & Isabel Álvarez, 2009. "Innovative MNEs’ Subsidiaries in different domestic environments," Working Papers del Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales 0901, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales.
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    21. Qu, Zhe & Huang, Can & Zhang, Mingqian & Zhao, Yanyun, 2013. "R&D offshoring, technology learning and R&D efforts of host country firms in emerging economies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 502-516.
    22. Pedro Sánchez-Sellero & Jorge Rosell-Martínez & José Manuel García-Vázquez, 2014. "Spillovers from Foreign Direct Investment in Spanish Manufacturing Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 342-351, May.
    23. Elisa Giuliani & Chiara Macchi, 2013. "Multinational Corporations’ Economic And Human Rights Impacts On Developing Countries: A Review And Research Agenda," Discussion Papers 2013/158, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    24. repec:ucm:wpaper:01-09 is not listed on IDEAS

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