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Multinationalization and the scope of innovation


  • Sasan Bakhtiari
  • Antonio Minniti
  • Alireza Naghavi


This research sheds light on how multinationalization affects basic research by firms and how their product scope influences this relationship. Using a matched firm-patent data set, we apply the generality measure of patent citation to investigate the effect of multinationalization on the extent to which patents registered by firms are applicable to diverse technology fields. We find that multinationalization is generally associated with less fundamental patents. However, engaging in more international activities while operating a more diversified portfolio of products is conducive to patents that open the way for follow-up research and inventions. These findings are robust to various specifications and sampling tests.

Suggested Citation

  • Sasan Bakhtiari & Antonio Minniti & Alireza Naghavi, 2019. "Multinationalization and the scope of innovation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(5), pages 1057-1077.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:28:y:2019:i:5:p:1057-1077.

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    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D


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