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Can Survey Evidence Shed Light on Spillovers from Foreign Direct Investment?


  • Beata S. Javorcik


Although some economists remain skeptical of the existence of positive externalities associated with foreign direct investment (FDI), many countries spend large sums attracting foreign investors in the hope of benefiting from knowledge spillovers. Data collected through enterprise surveys conducted in the Czech Republic and Latvia suggest that the entry of multinationals affects domestic enterprises in the same industry or in upstream or downstream sectors through multiple channels. Some of these channels represent true knowledge spillovers while others have positive or negative effects on domestic producers in other ways. The relative magnitudes of these channels depend on host country conditions and the type of FDI inflows, which explains the seemingly inconsistent findings of the literature. The focus of the debate should shift from attempting to generalize about whether or not FDI leads to productivity spillovers to determining under what conditions it can do so. Copyright The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / the world bank . All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:, Oxford University Press.

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  • Beata S. Javorcik, 2008. "Can Survey Evidence Shed Light on Spillovers from Foreign Direct Investment?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 23(2), pages 139-159, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:23:y:2008:i:2:p:139-159

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    3. Fernando Ubeda & Francisco Pérez-Hernández, 2017. "Absorptive Capacity and Geographical Distance Two Mediating Factors of FDI Spillovers: a Threshold Regression Analysis for Spanish Firms," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 1-28, March.
    4. Jordaan, Jacob A., 2011. "FDI, Local Sourcing, and Supportive Linkages with Domestic Suppliers: The Case of Monterrey, Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 620-632, April.
    5. Godart, Olivier N. & Görg, Holger, 2013. "Suppliers of multinationals and the forced linkage effect: Evidence from firm level data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 393-404.
    6. Fu, Xiaolan & Helmers, Christian & Zhang, Jing, 2012. "The two faces of foreign management capabilities: FDI and productive efficiency in the UK retail sector," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 71-88.
    7. Girum Abebe, 2012. "Ownership, Management Practices, Upgrading, and Productivity in the Metalworking sector: Evidence from Ethiopia," Working Papers 009, Ethiopian Development Research Institute.
    8. Franco, Chiara, 2013. "Exports and FDI motivations: Empirical evidence from U.S. foreign subsidiaries," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 47-62.
    9. Muehlen, Henning, 2013. "Firm-Level Productivity Spillovers from FDI in Latin American Countries," IEE Working Papers 196, Institut fuer Entwicklungsforschung und Entwicklungspolitik, Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum.
    10. Smeets, Roger & de Vaal, Albert, 2016. "Intellectual Property Rights and the productivity effects of MNE affiliates on host-country firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 419-434.
    11. Miao Wang & M. C. Sunny Wong, 2016. "Effects of Foreign Direct Investment on Firm-level Technical Efficiency: Stochastic Frontier Model Evidence from Chinese Manufacturing Firms," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 44(3), pages 335-361, September.
    12. Nicola Cortinovis & Riccardo Crescenzi & Frank van Oort, 2018. "Multinational enterprises, industrial relatedness and employment in European regions," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1802, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2018.
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    17. Falilou Fall & Christine Lewis, 2017. "Fostering Productivity for Income Convergence in the Czech Republic," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1362, OECD Publishing.
    18. Javorcik, Beata & Lo Turco, Alessia & Maggioni, Daniela, 2017. "New and Improved: Does FDI Boost Production Complexity in Host Countries?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Bijun Wang & Rui Mao & Qin Gou, 2014. "Overseas Impacts of China's Outward Direct Investment," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 9(2), pages 227-249, July.
    20. Alessia Lo Turco & Daniela Maggioni, 2017. "Local Discoveries and Technological Relatedness: the Role of Foreign Firms," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1710, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jun 2017.
    21. Maite Alguacil & Andrea Éltetó & Valeriano Martínez–San Román, 2015. "International R&D spillovers in Central and Eastern Europe. The role of capital imports and local conditions," Working Papers 2015/12, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    22. Katharina Eck & Stephan Huber, 2016. "Product sophistication and spillovers from foreign direct investment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1658-1684, November.
    23. Ndambendia, Houdou, 2014. "Exports diversification and knowledge sharing from south-south and south-north economic cooperation: evidence from the Central and West Africa," MPRA Paper 71571, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2015.
    24. Juan S. Blyde & Christian Volpe Martincus & Danielken Molina, 2014. "Fábricas sincronizadas: América Latina y el Caribe en la era de las Cadenas Globales de Valor," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 86755 edited by Juan S. Blyde, February.
    25. Wang, Cassandra C. & Wu, Aiqi, 2016. "Geographical FDI knowledge spillover and innovation of indigenous firms in China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 895-906.

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