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Former foreign affiliates: Cast out and outperformed?

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  • Beata 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 Javorcik & Steven Poelhekke, 2014. "Former foreign affiliates: Cast out and outperformed?," DNB Working Papers 435, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:435
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    10. Gidehag, Anton & Lodefalk, Magnus, 2016. "Recruiting for Small Business Growth: Micro-level Evidence," Working Papers 2016:6, Örebro University, School of Business.
    11. Dimitrios Exadactylos & Massimo Riccaboni & Armando Rungi, 2019. "Talents from Abroad. Foreign Managers and Productivity in the United Kingdom," Working Papers 01/2019, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised Dec 2019.
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    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. 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).
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

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

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