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Knowledge Transfer and Intra-Firm Trade

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  • Sotiris Blanas
  • Adnan Seric

Abstract

Using a unique sample of foreign affliates in Sub-Saharan Africa, we study the relationship of the extensive and intensive margins of their intra-firm trade with knowledge transfer to them from their parent companies. We find that the engagement of foreign affliates in intra-firm trade and their share of intra-firm trade are positively associated with the probability of these receiving crucial parental assistance in the use of patents, trademarks, and brand names, technology and know-how, access to foreign supplier network, and access to global markets. Foreign afiliates which engage in intra-firm trade and those with a higher share of this type of trade also receive more important overall parental assistance. The positive associations between intra-firm trade and knowledge transfer in the form of patents, trademarks and brand names are weaker in countries with relatively strong legal rights than in countries with relatively weak legal rights. Our findings point to the interplay between property rights and intangible assets theories of the multinational firm by suggesting that the joint role of knowledge ows in production and of multinational firm boundaries as facilitators of transfers of tangibles and intangibles is crucial.

Suggested Citation

  • Sotiris Blanas & Adnan Seric, 2017. "Knowledge Transfer and Intra-Firm Trade," Working Papers 178612931, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:lan:wpaper:178612931
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    knowledge transfer; intra-firm trade; foreign affliates; Sub-Saharan Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures

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