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Technology sourcing versus technology exploitation: an analysis of US foreign direct investment flows

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  • James Love

Abstract

The traditional paradigm of foreign direct investment (FDI) suggests that FDI is undertaken principally to exploit some firm-specific advantage in a foreign country which provides a locational advantage to the investor. However, recent theoretical work suggests a model of FDI in which the motivation is not to exploit existing technological advantages in a foreign country, but to access such technology and transfer it from the host economy to the investing multinational corporation via spillover effects. This paper tests the technology sourcing versus technology exploiting hypotheses for a panel of sectoral FDI flows between the United States and major OECD nations over a 15 year period. The research makes use of Patel and Vega's (Research Policy, 28, 145-55, 1999) taxonomy of sectors which are likely a priori to exhibit technology sourcing and exploiting behaviour respectively. While there is evidence that FDI flows into the United States are attracted to R&D intensive sectors, very little support is found for the technology sourcing hypothesis either for inward or outward FDI flows. The results suggest that, in aggregate, firm-specific 'ownership' effects remain powerful determinants of FDI flows.

Suggested Citation

  • James Love, 2003. "Technology sourcing versus technology exploitation: an analysis of US foreign direct investment flows," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(15), pages 1667-1678.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:35:y:2003:i:15:p:1667-1678
    DOI: 10.1080/0003684032000125060
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    1. repec:spr:manint:v:51:y:2011:i:3:d:10.1007_s11575-011-0079-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Francesco Bogliacino & Mario Pianta, 2016. "The Pavitt Taxonomy, revisited: patterns of innovation in manufacturing and services," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 33(2), pages 153-180, August.
    3. Richard Harris & John Moffat, 2011. "Plant-level Determinants of Total Factor Productivity in Great Britain, 1997-2006," SERC Discussion Papers 0064, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    4. Michel, Julie, 2007. "The effects of FDI in R&D on home countries, the case of Switzerland," MPRA Paper 6400, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Kemegue, F. & Mohan, R., 2009. "US FDI flows to ASEAN-5: Do Geographic Neighbors Matter?," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 9(1).
    6. Richard Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2014. "Networked FDI: Sales and Sourcing Patterns of Japanese Foreign Affiliates," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(8), pages 1051-1080, August.
    7. Harris, Richard, 2009. "Spillover and backward linkage effects of FDI: empirical evidence for the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33206, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Nigel Driffield & James H. Love & Karl Taylor, 2009. "Productivity And Labour Demand Effects Of Inward And Outward Foreign Direct Investment On Uk Industry," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 77(2), pages 171-203, March.
    9. R. Harris & Q. C. Li & J. Moffat, 2011. "The impact of higher education institution-firm knowledge links on firm-level productivity in Britain," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(13), pages 1243-1246.
    10. Yao, Shujie & Wei, Kailei, 2007. "Economic growth in the presence of FDI: The perspective of newly industrialising economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 211-234, March.
    11. Chowdhury, Mamta B, 2011. "India’s Outward Foreign Direct Investment: Closed Doors to Open Souk," MPRA Paper 32828, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Francis M. Kemegue, 2009. "Do Neighbors of Host Countries Matter to Aggregate US FDI Outflows?," Working Papers 200929, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    13. Yibai Yang, 2015. "Domestic R&D, Foreign Direct Investment and Welfare," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 908-924, November.
    14. Stiebale, Joel & Reize, Frank, 2008. "The Impact of FDI on Innovation in Target Firms," Ruhr Economic Papers 50, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    15. Francis M. Kemegue, 2009. "Pattern of Interdependence of Aggregate FDI from the Same Source Country," Working Papers 200928, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    16. Hamid Beladi & Fathali Firoozi & Catherine Co, 2008. "Link Between Domestic R&D And Inflow Of Fdi: A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 209-222, May.

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