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Cross-border knowledge flows through R&D FDI: Implications for low- and middle-income countries


  • Amendolagine, Vito

    () (Università di Pavia)

  • Chaminade, Cristina

    () (Lund University)

  • Guimón, José

    () (Autonomous University of Madrid)

  • Rabellotti, Roberta

    () (Università di Pavia)


R&D related foreign direct investments represent a powerful mechanism for cross-border knowledge sharing that can stimulate the process of technological catch-up. However, low-income countries and smaller middle-income countries remain largely excluded from this kind of global flows of knowledge. In this chapter, we discuss the motivations and implications of this type of FDI for low and middle income countries, building on a critical review of the existing literature and analyse the trajectory of R&D FDI during the period 2003-2017 by region and industry. The data is used as a point of departure to discuss potential policies specially tailored for low and middle income countries and their capacity to attract and anchor R&D related FDI for technological catch up. The paper finalizes outlining a future research agenda.

Suggested Citation

  • Amendolagine, Vito & Chaminade, Cristina & Guimón, José & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2019. "Cross-border knowledge flows through R&D FDI: Implications for low- and middle-income countries," Papers in Innovation Studies 2019/9, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2019_009

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Foreign Direct Investment; Technology driven FDI; International technology transfer; South-South FDI; Developing countries; Less developed countries; Emerging Economies; Innovation policy;

    JEL classification:

    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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