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Former Foreign Affiliates: Cast Out and Outperformed?

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  • Beata Smarzynska Javorcik
  • Steven Poelhekke

Abstract

The literature has documented a positive effect of foreign ownership on firm performance. But is this effect due to a one-time knowledge transfer or does it rely on continuous injections of knowledge? To shed light on this question we focus on divestments, that is, foreign affiliates that are sold to local owners. To establish a causal effect of the ownership change we combine a difference-in-differences approach with propensity score matching. We use plant-level panel data from the Indonesian Census of Manufacturing covering the period 1990-2009. We consider 157 cases of divestment, where a large set of plant characteristics is available two years before and three years after the ownership change and for which observationally similar control plants exist. The results indicate that divestment is associated with a drop in total factor productivity accompanied by a decline in output, markups as well as export and import intensity. The findings are consistent with the benefits of foreign ownership being driven by continuous supply of headquarter services from the foreign parent.

Suggested Citation

  • Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Steven Poelhekke, 2014. "Former Foreign Affiliates: Cast Out and Outperformed?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5111, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5111
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    Cited by:

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    3. Paul Pelzl & Steven (S.) Poelhekke, 2018. "Good mine, bad mine: Natural resource heterogeneity and Dutch disease in Indonesia," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-073/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Fabrice Defever & Alejandro Riano, 2017. "Twin peaks," Discussion Papers 2017-15, University of Nottingham, GEP.
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    6. Narula, Rajneesh & Van der Straaten, Khadija, 2019. "A comment on the multifaceted relationship between multinational enterprises and within-country inequality," MERIT Working Papers 2019-035, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Gidehag, Anton & Lodefalk, Magnus, 2016. "Recruiting for Small Business Growth: Micro-level Evidence," Working Papers 2016:6, Örebro University, School of Business.
    8. Dimitrios Exadactylos & Massimo Riccaboni & Armando Rungi, 2019. "Talents from Abroad. Foreign Managers and Productivity in the United Kingdom," Working Papers 01/2019, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised Dec 2019.
    9. García-Vega, María & Hofmann, Patricia & Kneller, Richard, 2019. "Multinationals and the globalization of R&D," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 583-614.
    10. Brucal, Arlan & Javorcik, Beata & Love, Inessa, 2019. "Good for the environment, good for business: Foreign acquisitions and energy intensity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C).
    11. Bruno Merlevede & Victoria Purice, 2019. "Border Regimes And Indirect Productivity Effects From Foreign Direct Investment," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 19/965, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    12. Stiebale, Joel & Vencappa, Dev, 2018. "Acquisitions, markups, efficiency, and product quality: Evidence from India," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 70-87.
    13. Arlan Brucal, Inessa Love, Beata Javorcik, 2018. "Energy savings through foreign acquisitions? Evidence from Indonesian manufacturing plants," GRI Working Papers 289, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    14. Lovo,Stefania & Varela,Gonzalo J., 2020. "Internationally Linked Firms, Integration Reforms and Productivity : Evidence from Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9349, The World Bank.
    15. García-Vega, María & Vicente-Chirivella, Óscar, 2020. "Do university technology transfers increase firms’ innovation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    16. Haucap, Justus & Rasch, Alexander & Stiebale, Joel, 2019. "How mergers affect innovation: Theory and evidence," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 283-325.
    17. Christa N. Brunnschweiler & Steven Poelhekke, 2019. "Pushing One's Luck: Petroleum ownership and discoveries," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2019-01, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    18. Genthner, Robert & Kis-Katos, Krisztina, 2020. "Local labor market effects of FDI regulation in Indonesia," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224524, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    19. Khadija Straaten & Niccolò Pisani & Ans Kolk, 2020. "Unraveling the MNE wage premium," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 51(9), pages 1355-1390, December.
    20. Sourafel Girma & Holger Görg & Erasmus Kersting, 2019. "Which boats are lifted by a foreign tide? Direct and indirect wage effects of foreign ownership," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 50(6), pages 923-947, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    divestment; foreign direct investment; Indonesia and productivity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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