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Technology acquisition channels and industry performance: An industry-level analysis of Chinese large- and medium-size manufacturing enterprises


  • Bin, Guo


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bin, Guo, 2008. "Technology acquisition channels and industry performance: An industry-level analysis of Chinese large- and medium-size manufacturing enterprises," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 194-209, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:2:p:194-209

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:2:p:203-231 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Zhang, Gupeng & Zhou, Jianghua, 2016. "The effects of forward and reverse engineering on firm innovation performance in the stages of technology catch-up: An empirical study of China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 212-222.
    3. Qiu, Yueming & Ortolano, Leonard & David Wang, Yi, 2013. "Factors influencing the technology upgrading and catch-up of Chinese wind turbine manufacturers: Technology acquisition mechanisms and government policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 305-316.
    4. Liu, Xiaohui & Hodgkinson, Ian R. & Chuang, Fu-Mei, 2014. "Foreign competition, domestic knowledge base and innovation activities: Evidence from Chinese high-tech industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 414-422.
    5. 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.
    6. He, Xiyou & Mu, Qing, 2012. "How Chinese firms learn technology from transnational corporations: A comparison of the telecommunication and automobile industries," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 270-287.
    7. Hong, Jin & Feng, Bing & Wu, Yanrui & Wang, Liangbing, 2016. "Do government grants promote innovation efficiency in China's high-tech industries?," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 57, pages 4-13.
    8. Carlsson , Bo, 2016. "Industrial Dynamics: A Review of the Literature 1990-2009," Papers in Innovation Studies 2016/3, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    9. Motohashi, Kazuyuki & Yuan, Yuan, 2010. "Productivity impact of technology spillover from multinationals to local firms: Comparing China's automobile and electronics industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 790-798, July.
    10. repec:wsi:ijitmx:v:14:y:2017:i:06:n:s0219877017500407 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lin, Jun-You, 2014. "Effects on diversity of R&D sources and human capital on industrial performance," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 168-184.
    12. Zhou Wei & Adel Ben Youssef, 2012. "The productivity impact of international technology transfer in China: Empirical investigation on Chinese regions," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1590-1603.
    13. Keupp, Marcus Matthias & Friesike, Sascha & von Zedtwitz, Maximilian, 2012. "How do foreign firms patent in emerging economies with weak appropriability regimes? Archetypes and motives," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1422-1439.
    14. Insu Cho & Heejun Park & Jeongil Choi, 2011. "The impact of diversity of innovation channels on innovation performance in service firms," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 5(3), pages 277-294, September.

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