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What are the channels for technology sourcing? Panel data evidence from German companies

  • Dietmar Harhoff
  • Elisabeth Mueller
  • John Van Reenen

Innovation processes within corporations increasingly tap into international technology sources, yet little is known about the relative contribution of different types of innovation channels. We investigate the effectiveness of different types of international technology sourcing activities using survey information on German companies complemented with information from the European Patent Office. German firms with inventors based in the US disproportionately benefit from R&D knowledge located in the US. The positive influence on total factor productivity is larger if the research of the inventors results in co-applications of patents with US companies. Moreover, research cooperation with American suppliers also enables German firms to better tap into US R&D, but cooperation with customers and competitors does not appear to aid technology sourcing. The results suggest that the “brain drain” to the US can have upsides for corporations tapping into American know-how.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/51524/
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 51524.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:51524
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