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Inter-firm reverse technology transfer: the home country effect of R&D internationalization

Listed author(s):
  • Paola Criscuolo

One consequence of the internationalization of R&D may be the transfer of foreign technology from the multinational to other firms in its home country. This phenomenon, which can be termed inter-firm reverse technology transfer and which has not been directly analyzed by either the international management or foreign direct investment literature, may have significant implications for policy--particularly in Europe. This article is a first attempt in this direction. Patent citation analysis on a database of EPO patents granted to 17 European chemical and pharmaceutical multinationals over the period 1985--2005 shows that they act as a channel for the transmission of knowledge developed in the United States, to other home country firms; these results are robust to the exclusion of examiner citations. We find that this technology transfer process is explained by the degree of home country embeddedness of the multinational firm, the US subsidiaries' engagement in asset-augmenting activities, and the presence of a technology gap between the United States and the home country. These results point to an alternative understanding of foreign direct R&D investment and its implications for the home country's technological activity and general competitive performance. Copyright 2009 The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Industrial and Corporate Change.

Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 869-899

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Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:18:y:2009:i:5:p:869-899
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