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A closer look at the productivity advantage of foreign affiliates

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  • Koen De Backer
  • Leo Sleuwaegen

Abstract

In analyzing firm productivity in Belgium, this article shows empirically that both scale and efficiency contribute positively to the typical productivity advantage of foreign affiliates. Stochastic production frontier estimation using the translog functional form indicates that foreign subsidiaries exploit economies of scale more fully and benefit from better (transferred) technological capabilities than Belgian national firms (i.e., Belgian owned firms without subsidiaries abroad). Belgian multinational enterprises (MNEs), i.e., Belgian owned firms with at least one subsidiary abroad, resemble foreign-based MNEs in possessing specific technological advantages. While the increasing globalization has facilitated the realization of scale effects across borders, this article shows that the development of technological capabilities/advantages is still a prerequisite for MNEs to compete successfully abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Koen De Backer & Leo Sleuwaegen, 2005. "A closer look at the productivity advantage of foreign affiliates," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 17-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:12:y:2005:i:1:p:17-34
    DOI: 10.1080/1357151042000323111
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Van Hove, 2008. "The Impact of R&D Spillovers on Export Value: Does the Transmission Channel matter?," Working Papers 2008.3, International Network for Economic Research - INFER.
    2. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Jean-François Hennart & Arjen Slangen & Roger Smeets, 2010. "Why and how FDI stocks are a biased measure of MNE affiliate activity," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 41(9), pages 1444-1459, December.
    3. Teixeira, Aurora A.C. & Tavares-Lehmann, Ana Teresa, 2014. "Human capital intensity in technology-based firms located in Portugal: Does foreign ownership matter?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 737-748.
    4. Ana Teresa Tavares & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2006. "Is Human Capital a Significant Determinant of Portugal’s FDI Attractiveness?," FEP Working Papers 211, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    5. repec:eee:iburev:v:26:y:2017:i:6:p:1124-1140 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ana Teresa Tavares & Aurora A. C. Teixeira, 2005. "Human Capital Intensity in Technology-Based Firms Located in Portugal: Do Foreign Multinationals Make a Difference?," FEP Working Papers 187, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    7. Schiffbauer, Marc & Siedschlag, Iulia & Ruane, Frances, 2017. "Do foreign mergers and acquisitions boost firm productivity?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1124-1140.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multinational Firms; Productivity; Efficiency; JEL Classification: F23; L10; M20;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - General

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