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FDI spillovers on firm survival in Italy: absorptive capacity matters!

Listed author(s):
  • Anna Ferragina

    ()

  • Fernanda Mazzotta

    ()

The aim of this paper is to explore the effects of spillovers driven by competition and forward and backward linkages between foreign firms and Italian firms. We adopt the firm dynamics framework, which allows us to test the impact of foreign firms’ activity on the probability that local firms will exit. The empirical analysis relies on continuous survival models (Cox proportional hazard models) and uses a representative firm level database from the period of 2002–2010 with data concerning more than 4,000 Italian manufacturing firms. Our estimates regarding the whole sample show that horizontal and vertical linkages have no impact on firm survival. To further test this finding, we perform a more disaggregated analysis that allows for heterogeneity across firms and sectors. We obtain evidence that the effects of FDI spillovers on firm survival follow specific patterns at both the intra- and inter-industry levels based on differences in productivity between Italian firms and foreign firms and on the technological intensity of the industry. Foreign firms’ activity reduces the exit probability of competitors and of downstream local customers (through forward linkages) with low productivity gap but has no impact on high productivity gap firms. Firms in high technology intensive sectors do not benefit from horizontal FDI while in low and medium technology sectors they do. Differences in absorptive capacity may explain these results. However, we also find that vertical linkages with foreign firms in the upstream supplying industries spur firm duration in medium and high tech sectors. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10961-013-9321-z
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Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Technology Transfer.

Volume (Year): 39 (2014)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 859-897

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:39:y:2014:i:6:p:859-897
DOI: 10.1007/s10961-013-9321-z
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