IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Foreign Direct Investment and R&D Offshoring


  • Gersbach, Hans
  • Schmutzler, Armin


We analyze a two-country model of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Two firms, each of which is originally situated in only one of the two countries, first decide whether to build a plant in the foreign country. Then, they decide whether to relocate R&D activities. Finally, they engage in product-market competition. Our main points are: first, FDI liberalization causes a relocation of R&D activities if intrafirm communication is sufficiently well developed, external spillovers are substantial, competition is not too strong and foreign markets are not too small. Second, such a relocation of R&D activities will usually nevertheless increase domestic welfare since it only occurs if intrafirm communication is well developed and therefore knowledge generated and obtained abroad flows back to the domestic country. Third, the potential of R&D offshoring makes FDI itself more likely. Fourth, when countries are asymmetric, the small-country firm is more likely to offshore its R&D activities into the large country than conversely.

Suggested Citation

  • Gersbach, Hans & Schmutzler, Armin, 2006. "Foreign Direct Investment and R&D Offshoring," CEPR Discussion Papers 5766, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5766

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aitken, Brian & Hanson, Gordon H. & Harrison, Ann E., 1997. "Spillovers, foreign investment, and export behavior," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 103-132, August.
    2. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1997. "Public Policy towards R&D in Oligopolistic Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 642-662, September.
    3. Zejan, Mario C, 1990. " R&D Activities in Affiliates of Swedish Multinational Enterprises," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(3), pages 487-500.
    4. Kjetil Bjorvatn & Carsten Eckel, 2006. "Technology Sourcing and Strategic Foreign Direct Investment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 600-614, September.
    5. Samuel Muehlemann & Juerg Schweri & Rainer Winkelmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2005. "A Structural Model of Demand for Apprentices," CESifo Working Paper Series 1417, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Walter Kuemmerle, 1999. "The Drivers of Foreign Direct Investment into Research and Development: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 30(1), pages 1-24, March.
    7. Lalive, Rafael & Schmutzler, Armin, 2005. "Competition for Railway Markets: The Case of Baden-Württemberg," CEPR Discussion Papers 5396, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Blomstrom, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 1998. " Multinational Corporations and Spillovers," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 247-277, July.
    9. Kogut, Bruce & Chang, Sea Jin, 1991. "Technological Capabilities and Japanese Foreign Direct Investment in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 401-413, August.
    10. Neven, Damien & Siotis, Georges, 1993. "Foreign Direct Investment in the European Community: Some Policy Issues," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 72-93, Summer.
    11. Alejandra Cattaneo & Sandra Hanslin & Rainer Winkelmann, 2007. "The Apple Falls Increasingly Far: Parent-Child Correlation in Schooling and the Growth of Post-Secondary Education in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(II), pages 133-153, June.
    12. Hakanson, Lars & Nobel, Robert, 1993. "Foreign research and development in Swedish multinationals," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(5-6), pages 373-396, November.
    13. Gärtner, Dennis L. & Halbheer, Daniel, 2009. "Are there waves in merger activity after all?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 708-718, November.
    14. Stefan Boes & Rainer Winkelmann, 2006. "The Effect of Income on Positive and Negative Subjective Well-Being," SOI - Working Papers 0605, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    15. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-640, June.
    16. Boes, Stefan & Lipp, Markus & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2007. "Money illusion under test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 332-337, March.
    17. D.N. Saxena, 1989. "Foreign Direct Investment," Foreign Trade Review, , vol. 24(1), pages 76-97, April.
    18. Motta, Massimo & Norman, George, 1996. "Does Economic Integration Cause Foreign Direct Investment?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 757-783, November.
    19. Sanna-Randaccio, Francesca, 1996. "New protectionism and multinational companies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1-2), pages 29-51, August.
    20. Yves Schneider & Peter Zweifel, 2005. "Spatial Effects in Willingness-to-Pay: The Case of Two Nuclear Risks," SOI - Working Papers 0502, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Sep 2007.
    21. Belderbos, Rene, 2001. "Overseas innovations by Japanese firms: an analysis of patent and subsidiary data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 313-332, February.
    22. Das, Sanghamitra, 1987. "Externalities, and technology transfer through multinational corporations A theoretical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 171-182, February.
    23. Mahler, Philippe & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2004. "Single Motherhood and (Un)Equal Educational Opportunities: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1391, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    24. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1990. "Endogenous Market Structures in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Rupert Harrison & Rachel Griffith & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Technology Sourcing: An Empirical Analysis Using Firm-Level Patent Data," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 12, Royal Economic Society.
    26. Wolfgang HÄRDLE & J. MARRON & L. YANG, 1996. "Discussion," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1996,65, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    foreign direct investment; R&D; research relocation; spillovers;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5766. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.