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Tough Love: Do Czech Suppliers Learn from Their Relationships with Multinationals?

  • Beata S. Javorcik
  • Mariana Spatareanu

Many countries strive to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) hoping that knowledge brought by multinationals will spill over to domestic industries and increase their productivity. While the empirical studies have cast doubt on the existence of horizontal spillovers from FDI in developing countries, several recent papers have confirmed the presence of vertical spillovers, which take place through contacts between foreign affiliates and their local suppliers. However, the existing studies rely on industry-level proxies for vertical spillovers rather than information on actual relationships between local companies and multinationals. This study goes one step further by employing a unique dataset from the Czech Republic, which allows us to identify local firms supplying multinationals operating in the country. The data suggest that suppliers are different from other firms. They are larger, have a higher capital-labor ratio, pay higher wages and exhibit a higher productivity level. The evidence is suggestive of both high productivity firms having a higher probability of supplying multinationals as well as suppliers learning from their relationships with multinationals.

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Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 24909.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:24909
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  1. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  2. Görg, Holger & Greenaway, David, 2003. "Much Ado About Nothing? Do Domestic Firms Really Benefit from Foreign Direct Investment?," IZA Discussion Papers 944, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Theodore H. Moran, 2001. "Parental Supervision: The New Paradigm for Foreign Direct Investment and Development," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa64.
  4. Harding, Torfinn & Javorcik, Beata, 2007. "Developing Economies and International Investors: Do Investment Promotion Agencies Bring Them Together?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6418, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Wilbur Chung & W Mitchell & B Yeung, 2003. "Foreign direct investment and host country productivity: the American automotive component industry in the 1980s," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(2), pages 199-218, March.
  6. Haddad, Mona & Harrison, Ann, 1993. "Are there positive spillovers from direct foreign investment? : Evidence from panel data for Morocco," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 51-74, October.
  7. Blalock, Garrick & Gertler, Paul J., 2008. "Welfare gains from Foreign Direct Investment through technology transfer to local suppliers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 402-421, March.
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