Technology acquisition channels and industry performance: An industry-level analysis of Chinese large- and medium-size manufacturing enterprises
Through an industry-level analysis of Chinese large- and medium-size manufacturing enterprises over the period of 1996-2001, this article investigates the direct and interactive contributions of four technology acquisition channels to industry performances in terms of innovation performance and productivity. These channels include in-house R&D, foreign technology transfer, domestic technology transfer, and inter-industry R&D spillover. We have found evidence of an important role of inter-industry R&D spillover in shaping and improving industry performance in China, which has been neglected by previous empirical studies concerned with Chinese industrial firms. The empirical results indicate that inter-industry R&D spillover and foreign technology transfer make significant contributions to both labour productivity and the level of total factor productivity in Chinese manufacturing industries. We have also found that in-house R&D and inter-industry R&D spillover share a complementary relationship in shaping innovation performance and total factor productivity in Chinese industry, and that in-house R&D relates to foreign technology transfer as a complement for labour productivity. Finally, on the mixed results among existing literature in the context of developing countries, this article argues that the commonly followed strategy in technology development, combined with government regulations, will play an essential role in determining the relationship between in-house R&D and foreign technology transfer.
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