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SMEs´ absorptive capacities and large firms´ knowledge spillovers: Micro evidence from Mexico

  • De Fuentes, Claudia


    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Dutrénit, Gabriela


    (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco)

The aim of this paper is to analyze the relationship between large firms´ knowledge spillovers and small and medium enterprises absorptive capacities. We build ad-hoc indicators for these two concepts following a factor analysis methodology, and we carry out a structural equations analysis to determine the relationship between them. Based on firm level original data from a survey that focuses on SMEs in a Mexican locality, this paper argues that in a low-tech and mature sector, such as the machine shop sector, that operates in a loosely articulated local system, two knowledge spillover mechanisms are relevant: the backward linkages and the employees´ mobility. Regarding SMEs’ absorptive capacities they are strongly influenced by organizational capabilities and innovation and learning activities. We also argue that large firms’ knowledge spillovers are strongly correlated to SMEs absorptive capacities within the sector and locality analyzed.

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Paper provided by Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy in its series Papers in Innovation Studies with number 2011/1.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 20 Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2011_001
Contact details of provider: Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46 (0) 46 222 74 68
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  3. Kafouros, Mario I. & Buckley, Peter J., 2008. "Under what conditions do firms benefit from the research efforts of other organizations?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 225-239, March.
  4. Nelson, Andrew J., 2009. "Measuring knowledge spillovers: What patents, licenses and publications reveal about innovation diffusion," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 994-1005, July.
  5. Maurice Kugler, . "Spillovers from Foreign Direct Investment: Within or between Industries?," Borradores de Economia 369, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  6. O'Mahony, Mary & Vecchi, Michela, 2009. "R&D, knowledge spillovers and company productivity performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 35-44, February.
  7. Jordaan, Jacob A., 2005. "Determinants of FDI-induced externalities: New empirical evidence for Mexican manufacturing industries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 2103-2118, December.
  8. Girma, Sourafel & Greenaway, David & Wakelin, Katharine, 2001. "Who Benefits from Foreign Direct Investment in the UK?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 48(2), pages 119-33, May.
  9. Davide Castellani & Antonello Zanfei, 2003. "Technology gaps, absorptive capacity and the impact of inward investments on productivity of European firms ," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(6), pages 555-576.
  10. Andrea Fosfuri & Massimo Motta & Thomas Ronde, 1998. "Foreign direct investments and spillovers through workers' mobility," Economics Working Papers 258, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Manuel Albaladejo, . "Determinants and Policies to Foster the Competitiveness of SME Clusters: Evidence from Latin America," QEH Working Papers qehwps71, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
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  13. Ivarsson, Inge & Alvstam, Claes Goran, 2005. "Technology transfer from TNCs to local suppliers in developing countries: A study of AB Volvo's truck and bus plants in Brazil, China, India, and Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1325-1344, August.
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  15. Fredrik Sjoholm, 1999. "Technology gap, competition and spillovers from direct foreign investment: Evidence from establishment data," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 53-73.
  16. Escribano, Alvaro & Fosfuri, Andrea & Tribó, Josep A., 2009. "Managing external knowledge flows: The moderating role of absorptive capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 96-105, February.
  17. Durham, J.B.J. Benson, 2004. "Absorptive capacity and the effects of foreign direct investment and equity foreign portfolio investment on economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 285-306, April.
  18. Driffield, Nigel, 2001. "The Impact of Domestic Productivity of Inward Investment in the UK," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(1), pages 103-19, January.
  19. Motohashi, Kazuyuki & Yuan, Yuan, 2010. "Productivity impact of technology spillover from multinationals to local firms: Comparing China's automobile and electronics industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 790-798, July.
  20. Lall, Sanjaya, 1980. "Vertical Inter-Firm Linkages in LDCs: An Empirical Study," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 42(3), pages 203-26, August.
  21. Blomström, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 2003. "The Economics of Foreign Direct Investment Incentives," EIJS Working Paper Series 168, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
  22. Liu, Xiaohui & Buck, Trevor, 2007. "Innovation performance and channels for international technology spillovers: Evidence from Chinese high-tech industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 355-366, April.
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