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Knowledge diffusion from FDI and Intellectual Property Rights

Author

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  • Roger Smeets

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Albert de Vaal

Abstract

We study the extent to which a country's strength of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection mediates knowledge spillovers from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Following the opposing views in the IPR debate, we propose a negative effect of IPR strength on unintentional horizontal (intra-industry) knowledge diffusion. Using a unique firm-level dataset of large, publicly traded firms in 22 (mostly) developed countries, we find partial support for these expectations. Strong IPR indeed reduces horizontal knowledge diffusion, while it stimulates backward (to suppliers) knowledge diffusion. Somewhat unexpectedly however, we also find that forward (to customers) knowledge diffusion decreases with IPR strength. In general, and in line with earlier literature, the results regarding backward knowledge diffusion are most robust to changes in model specification. Our results contribute to the debate regarding the desirability of strengthening national IPR systems, and suggest that local firms might indeed benefit from this through their (backward) linkages with multinationals. Additionally, our results suggest that the moderating effect of IPR strength might partly explain the inconclusive results in the FDI knowledge diffusion literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Smeets & Albert de Vaal, 2011. "Knowledge diffusion from FDI and Intellectual Property Rights," CPB Discussion Paper 168, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:168
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    File URL: http://www.cpb.nl/sites/default/files/publicaties/download/dp168-knowledge-diffusion-fdi-and-intellectual-property-rights.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kugler, Maurice, 2006. "Spillovers from foreign direct investment: Within or between industries?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 444-477, August.
    2. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
    3. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, March.
    4. Branstetter, Lee & Fisman, Ray & Foley, C. Fritz & Saggi, Kamal, 2011. "Does intellectual property rights reform spur industrial development?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 27-36, January.
    5. 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.
    6. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    7. Kamal Saggi, 2002. "Trade, Foreign Direct Investment, and International Technology Transfer: A Survey," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 191-235, September.
    8. Julia I. Lane & John C. Haltiwanger & James Spletzer, 1999. "Productivity Differences across Employers: The Roles of Employer Size, Age, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 94-98, May.
    9. Javorcik, Beata Smarzynska & Spatareanu, Mariana, 2008. "To share or not to share: Does local participation matter for spillovers from foreign direct investment?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 194-217, February.
    10. Blalock, Garrick & Gertler, Paul J., 2008. "Welfare gains from Foreign Direct Investment through technology transfer to local suppliers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 402-421, March.
    11. Smith, Pamela J., 2001. "How do foreign patent rights affect U.S. exports, affiliate sales, and licenses?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 411-439, December.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. You Didn’t Think That: Intellectual Property Rights
      by Kevin Behne in Blogal Prosperity on 2012-08-14 23:54:49

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    Cited by:

    1. Iršová, Zuzana & Havránek, Tomáš, 2013. "Determinants of Horizontal Spillovers from FDI: Evidence from a Large Meta-Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-15.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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