IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Thinking locally: exploring the importance of a subsidiary-centred model of FDI-related spillovers in Brazil

  • Anabel Marin
  • Ionara Costa

This paper investigates FDI-related spillovers in Brazil. Contrasting to previous studies on other emerging economies, it found horizontal spillovers. However, spillovers did not arise simply as consequence of technology transfer from MNC headquarters as the standard approach presumes; nor were associated with differences in technological intensity across industries, in domestic firms' absorptive capability. Instead, spillovers were associated with particular kinds of localised knowledge-creation activities by subsidiaries. Those findings have both significant theory and policy implications. They help to make clear the explanatory limitations of the dominant 'centrally-driven' perspectives, and point to the relevance of focusing on subsidiaries' technological behaviour in order to explain the existence or not of FDI-related spillovers. This implies that government policies aiming at simply attracting FDI do not ensure that FDI-related spillovers will automatically take place. Instead, effective policies on this matter should be concerned with the innovative behaviour of already established subsidiaries.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Inderscience Enterprises Ltd in its journal Int. J. of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development.

Volume (Year): 3 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 87-107

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ids:ijtlid:v:3:y:2010:i:1:p:87-107
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Nigel Driffield & James H Love, 2007. "Linking FDI motivation and host economy productivity effects: conceptual and empirical analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(3), pages 460-473, May.
  2. Haskel, Jonathan & Pereira, Sonia & Slaughter, Matthew, 2002. "Does Inward Foreign Direct Investment Boost the Productivity of Domestic Firms?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3384, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Anabel Marin & Elisa Giuliani, 2007. "Global and local knowledge linkages: the case of MNE subsidiaries in Argentina," SPRU Working Paper Series 155, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  4. Teece, David J, 1977. "Technology Transfer by Multinational Firms: The Resource Cost of Transferring Technological Know-how," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(346), pages 242-61, June.
  5. John Cantwell & Franceses Sanna-Randaccio, 1993. "Multinationality and firm growth," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 129(2), pages 275-299, June.
  6. Kuemmerle, Walter, 1999. "Foreign direct investment in industrial research in the pharmaceutical and electronics industries--results from a survey of multinational firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 179-193, March.
  7. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:92:y:1978:i:1:p:1-16 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Ramachandran, Vijaya, 1993. "Technology Transfer, Firm Ownership, and Investment in Human Capital," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(4), pages 664-70, November.
  9. Kumar, Nagesh, 2001. "Determinants of location of overseas R&D activity of multinational enterprises: the case of US and Japanese corporations1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 159-174, January.
  10. Ionara Costa & Sergey Filippov, 2008. "Foreign-owned subsidiaries: A neglected nexus between foreign direct investment, industrial and innovation policies," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(6), pages 379-390, July.
  11. Birkinshaw, Julian & Hood, Neil & Young, Stephen, 2005. "Subsidiary entrepreneurship, internal and external competitive forces, and subsidiary performance," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 227-248, April.
  12. Peter J Buckley & Jeremy Clegg & Chengqi Wang, 2007. "Is the relationship between inward FDI and spillover effects linear? An empirical examination of the case of China," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(3), pages 447-459, May.
  13. Vinish Kathuria, 2000. "Productivity spillovers from technology transfer to Indian manufacturing firms," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 343-369.
  14. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  15. Patibandla, Murali & Sanyal, Amal, 2005. "Foreign Investment and Productivity: A Study of Post-reform Indian Industry," Review of Applied Economics, Review of Applied Economics, vol. 1(1).
  16. Pearce, Robert D., 1999. "Decentralised R&D and strategic competitiveness: globalised approaches to generation and use of technology in multinational enterprises (MNEs)," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 157-178, March.
  17. Crespo, Nuno & Fontoura, Maria Paula, 2007. "Determinant Factors of FDI Spillovers - What Do We Really Know?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 410-425, March.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Giovanni Peri, 2004. "Catching-Up to Foreign Technology? Evidence on the "Veblen-Gerschenkron" Effect of Foreign Investments," NBER Working Papers 10893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Kokko, Ari, 1994. "Technology, market characteristics, and spillovers," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 279-293, April.
  22. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Costa, Ionara & de Queiroz, Sergio Robles Reis, 2002. "Foreign direct investment and technological capabilities in Brazilian industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1431-1443, December.
  24. Cantwell, John & Janne, Odile, 1999. "Technological globalisation and innovative centres: the role of corporate technological leadership and locational hierarchy1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 119-144, March.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ids:ijtlid:v:3:y:2010:i:1:p:87-107. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Graham Langley)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.