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Multinational companies and productivity spillovers: is there a specification error?

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  • Davide Castellani
  • Antonello Zanfei

Abstract

Recent empirical works on the within-sector impact of inward investments on domestic firms' productivity have found rather robust evidence of no (or even negative) effects. We suggest that, among other reasons, a specification error might explain some of these results. A more general specification, which includes the usual one as a special case, is proposed. Using data on Italian manufacturing firms in 1992-2000, we find positive externalities only once we allow for the more flexible specification.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide Castellani & Antonello Zanfei, 2007. "Multinational companies and productivity spillovers: is there a specification error?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(14), pages 1047-1051.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:14:y:2007:i:14:p:1047-1051
    DOI: 10.1080/13504850600706503
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G., 1995. "Are apparent productive spillovers a figment of specification error?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 165-188, August.
    3. Nigel Driffield & Max Munday & Annette Roberts, 2002. "Foreign Direct Investment, Transactions Linkages, and the Performance of the Domestic Sector," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 335-351.
    4. 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.
    5. Davide Castellani & Antonello Zanfei, 2003. "Technology gaps, absorptive capacity and the impact of inward investments on productivity of European firms ," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(6), pages 555-576.
    6. Oulton, Nicholas, 1996. "Increasing Returns and Externalities in UK Manufacturing: Myth or Reality?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 99-113, March.
    7. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
    8. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Lyons, Richard K., 1990. "Internal versus external economies in European industry," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 805-826, June.
    9. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
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