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Can You Teach Old Dragons New Tricks? FDI and Innovation Activity in Chinese State-Owned Enterprises

  • Girma, Sourafel
  • Gong, Yundan
  • Görg, Holger

We investigate whether inward FDI, either at the firm or industry level, has any impact on product innovation by Chinese State owned enterprises (SOEs). We use a comprehensive firm level panel data set of Chinese SOEs covering the period 1999 to 2003. Our results show that foreign capital participation is associated with higher innovative activity. Inward FDI in the sector has a negative effect on innovative activity in SOEs. However, there is a positive effect of FDI on SOEs that export, invest in human capital or R&D, or have prior innovation experience. We also find that SOEs with internal R&D activity and human capital development are successful innovators. Hence, our results suggest that rather than relying on sector level inward FDI to improve domestic innovative activity, it is important to get the firm-level fundamentals right.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5838.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5838
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  1. Sourafel Girma, 2003. "Absorptive capacity and productivity spillovers From FDI: a threshold regression analysis," European Economy Group Working Papers 25, European Economy Group.
  2. 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.
  3. Beata K. Smarzynska, 2003. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers through Backward Linkages," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 548, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728, May.
  5. Albert G. Z. Hu & Gary H. Jefferson & Qian Jinchang, 2005. "R&D and Technology Transfer: Firm-Level Evidence from Chinese Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 780-786, November.
  6. Gary Jefferson & Bai Huamao & Guan Xiaojing & Yu Xiaoyun, 2006. "R&D Performance in Chinese industry," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4-5), pages 345-366.
  7. Gorg, Holger & Strobl, Eric, 2001. "Multinational Companies and Productivity Spillovers: A Meta-analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F723-39, November.
  8. 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.
  9. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, June.
  10. Newey, Whitney K., 1987. "Efficient estimation of limited dependent variable models with endogenous explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 231-250, November.
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