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What Determines Technological Spillovers of Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from China

  • Galina Hale


    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Cheryl Long


    (Colgate University)

Using the World Bank survey of 1500 firms in five Chinese cities, we study whether the presence of foreign firms produces technology spillovers on domestic firms operating in the same city and industry. We find positive spillovers for more backward firms. We analyze the channels of such spillovers and find that the transfer of technology occurs through movement of high-skilled workers from FDI firms to domestic firms as well as through network externalities among high-skilled workers. Moreover, these two channels fully account for the spillover effects we find, which demonstrate the importance of well-functioning labor market in facilitating FDI spillovers. Insofar as our results can be generalized to other countries, they reconcile conflicting evidence found in other studies.

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Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 934.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:934
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  1. Kokko, Ari & Tansini, Ruben & Zejan, Mario, 1994. "Productivity Spillovers from FDI in the Uruguayan Manufacturing Sector," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 2, Stockholm School of Economics.
  2. Djankov, Simeon & Hoekman, Bernard M, 2000. "Foreign Investment and Productivity Growth in Czech Enterprises," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 49-64, January.
  3. Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 1996. "Multinationals, Linkages, and Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 852-73, September.
  4. Jonathan E. Haskel & Sonia C. Pereira & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2007. "Does Inward Foreign Direct Investment Boost the Productivity of Domestic Firms?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 482-496, August.
  5. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2004. "Spillovers from Foreign Firms through Worker Mobility: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 463, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 1999. "Multinational firms and technology transfer," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2067, The World Bank.
  7. Blomstrom, Magnus & Globerman, Steven & Kokko, Ari, 1999. "The determinants of host country spillovers from foreign direct investment: review and synthesis of the literature," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 502, Stockholm School of Economics.
  8. Wolfgang Keller & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2003. "Multinational Enterprises, International Trade, and Productivity Growth: Firm-Level Evidence from the United States," Working Papers 2003-06, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  9. Vinish Kathuria, 2000. "Productivity spillovers from technology transfer to Indian manufacturing firms," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 343-369.
  10. Talavera, Oleksandr & Lutz, Stefan H., 2003. "Do Ukrainian Firms Benefit from FDI?," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-05, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. Wang, Jian-Ye & Blomstrom, Magnus, 1992. "Foreign investment and technology transfer : A simple model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 137-155, January.
  12. Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Wallsten, Scott & Lixin Colin Xu, 2003. "The investment climate and the firm : firm-level evidence from China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3003, The World Bank.
  13. 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.
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