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Multinationals, Technological Incompatibilities, and Spillovers


  • Carluccio, Juan
  • Fally, Thibault


Empirical studies provide evidence of positive spillovers from multinational firms to upstream suppliers coupled with negative spillovers to firms in the same industry. This paper shows that these empirical regularities can be rationalized in a model with incompatibilities between foreign and domestic technologies. When foreign technologies require specialized inputs, some local suppliers self-select into production for multinational firms. This ”technological segmentation” in the upstream industry magnifies the productivity advantage of multinationals by restricting backward and forward linkages to groups of firms using the same technology. In this setting, we study the role of heterogeneity among domestic firms. We show that only the best suppliers adopt the foreign technology and cater to multinationals. In the long run, technology adoption by the most productive downstream firms creates complementarities with multinationals that can offset the negative impact of segmentation.

Suggested Citation

  • Carluccio, Juan & Fally, Thibault, 2010. "Multinationals, Technological Incompatibilities, and Spillovers," CEPR Discussion Papers 7869, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7869

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Laura Alfaro & Andrés Rodriguez-Clare, 2004. "Multinationals and Linkages: An Empirical Investigation," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 113-169, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Carluccio & Thibault Fally, 2012. "Global Sourcing under Imperfect Capital Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 740-763, August.
    2. Carluccio, Juan & Fally, Thibault, 2013. "Foreign entry and spillovers with technological incompatibilities in the supply chain," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 123-135.
    3. Hodaka Morita & Xuan Nguyen, 2012. "FDI and Technology Spillovers under Vertical Product Di erentiation," Discussion Papers 2012-19, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    4. Carluccio, J. & Fally, T., 2012. "Foreign Entry and Spillovers with Technological Incompatibilities in the Supply Chain - Forthcoming in Journal of International Economics," Working papers 410, Banque de France.

    More about this item


    externalities; multinational firms; technological incompatibilities;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology


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