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Should R&D Champions be Protected from Foreign Takeovers?

  • Bertrand, Olivier

    (Graduate School of Management of St Petersburg State University and Toulouse School of Economics)

  • Nilsson Hakkala, Katariina

    (Helsinki School of Economics and Government Institute for Economic Research (VATT))

  • Norbäck, Pehr-Johan

    ()

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Persson, Lars

    ()

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

We analyze how the entry mode of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) affects affiliate R&D activities. Using unique affiliate level data for Swedish multinational firms, we first present empirical evidence that acquired affiliates have a higher level of R&D intensity than greenfield (start-up) affiliates. This gap persists over time and with the age of the affiliates, as well as for different firm types and industries. To explain this finding, we develop an acquisition-investment-oligopoly model where we show that for a foreign acquisition to take place in equilibrium, the acquiring MNE must invest sufficiently in sequential R&D in the affiliate. Otherwise, rivals will expand their business, thus making the acquisition unprofitable. Two additional predictions of the model – that foreign firms acquire high-quality domestic firms and that the gap in R&D between acquired and greenfield affiliates decreases in acquisition transaction costs – are consistent with the data.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 772.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 17 Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0772
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