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Can You Teach Old Dragons New Tricks? FDI and Innovation Activity in Chinese State-Owned Enterprises

Author

Listed:
  • Girma, Sourafel

    () (University of Nottingham)

  • Gong, Yundan

    () (Aston University)

  • Görg, Holger

    () (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

Abstract

We investigate whether inward FDI, either at the firm or industry level, has any impact on product innovation by Chinese State owned enterprises (SOEs). We use a comprehensive firm level panel data set of Chinese SOEs covering the period 1999 to 2003. Our results show that foreign capital participation is associated with higher innovative activity. Inward FDI in the sector has a negative effect on innovative activity in SOEs. However, there is a positive effect of FDI on SOEs that export, invest in human capital or R&D, or have prior innovation experience. We also find that SOEs with internal R&D activity and human capital development are successful innovators. Hence, our results suggest that rather than relying on sector level inward FDI to improve domestic innovative activity, it is important to get the firm-level fundamentals right.

Suggested Citation

  • Girma, Sourafel & Gong, Yundan & Görg, Holger, 2006. "Can You Teach Old Dragons New Tricks? FDI and Innovation Activity in Chinese State-Owned Enterprises," IZA Discussion Papers 2267, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2267
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: an Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728.
    2. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, March.
    3. Newey, Whitney K., 1987. "Efficient estimation of limited dependent variable models with endogenous explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 231-250, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Sourafel Girma, 2005. "Absorptive Capacity and Productivity Spillovers from FDI: A Threshold Regression Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(3), pages 281-306, June.
    6. repec:wsi:wschap:9789814749237_0008 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
    8. Javorcik, Beata Smarzynska & Spatareanu, Mariana, 2008. "To share or not to share: Does local participation matter for spillovers from foreign direct investment?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 194-217, February.
    9. Gary Jefferson & Bai Huamao & Guan Xiaojing & Yu Xiaoyun, 2006. "R&D Performance in Chinese industry," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4-5), pages 345-366.
    10. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2016. "Multinational Companies And Productivity Spillovers: A Meta-Analysis," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISES AND HOST COUNTRY DEVELOPMENT Volume 53: World Scientific Studies in International Economics, chapter 8, pages 145-161 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    11. Albert G. Z. Hu & Gary H. Jefferson & Qian Jinchang, 2005. "R&D and Technology Transfer: Firm-Level Evidence from Chinese Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 780-786, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Damijan, Jože P. & Rojec, Matija & Majcen, Boris & Knell, Mark, 2013. "Impact of firm heterogeneity on direct and spillover effects of FDI: Micro-evidence from ten transition countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 895-922.
    2. Rita Almeida & Ana Margarida Fernandes, 2008. "Openness and Technological Innovations in Developing Countries: Evidence from Firm-Level Surveys," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(5), pages 701-727.
    3. Priit Vahter, "undated". "Does FDI spur innovation, productivity and knowledge sourcing by incumbent firms? Evidence from manufacturing industry in Estonia," Discussion Papers 10/09, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    4. Jeon, Yongbok & Park, Byung Il & Ghauri, Pervez N., 2013. "Foreign direct investment spillover effects in China: Are they different across industries with different technological levels?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 105-117.
    5. Yundan Gong & Holger Gorg & Sara Maioli, 2007. "Employment Effects of Privatisation and Foreign Acquisition of Chinese State-owned Enterprises," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 197-214.
    6. Yuqing Xing, 2008. "FDI in China: Facts and Impacts on China and the World Economy," Working Papers EMS_2008_03, Research Institute, International University of Japan.
    7. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 2007. "When Does FDI Have Positive Spillovers? Evidence from 17 Emerging Market Economies," IZA Discussion Papers 3079, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. 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.
    9. Jaan Masso & Tõnu Roolaht & Urmas Varblane, 2010. "Foreign Direct Investment And Innovation In Central And Eastern Europe: Evidence From Estonia," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 67, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    10. repec:taf:rjapxx:v:17:y:2012:i:2:p:343-360 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lin, Ping & Liu, Zhuomin & Zhang, Yifan, 2009. "Do Chinese domestic firms benefit from FDI inflow?: Evidence of horizontal and vertical spillovers," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 677-691, December.
    12. Todo, Yasuyuki & Zhang, Weiying & Zhou, Li-An, 2009. "Knowledge spillovers from FDI in China: The role of educated labor in multinational enterprises," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 626-639, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    FDI; innovation; China; spillovers; state owned enterprises; competition;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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