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The Effect of Direct Foreign Investment on Domestic Firms: Evidence from Firm Level Panel Data in Emerging Economies

  • Jozef Konings

This paper uses firm level panel data to investigate empirically the effects of direct foreign investment (DFI) on the productivity performance of domestic firms in three emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland. To this end a unique firm level panel data set is used with detailed information on foreign ownership at the firm level. Three key questions are addressed in the present paper: (1) do foreign firms perform better than their domestic counterparts? (2) do foreign firms generate positive spillovers to domestic firms? (3) Do technological spillovers from foreign firms depend on the absorptive capacity of domestic firms? I find that firms with some foreign investment perform better than firms without foreign participation. I find no evidence of positive spillovers to domestic firms on average. In contrast, on average there are no spillovers to domestic firms in Bulgaria and Romania, while there are negative spillovers to domestic firms in Poland. In addition, for Bulgaria and Poland, I find evidence that the absorptive capacity of domestic firms might matter to benefit from foreign investors. The results are consistent with recent theories of R&D spillovers through DFI.

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Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 8699.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:8699
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  1. Borensztein, E. & De Gregorio, J. & Lee, J-W., 1998. "How does foreign direct investment affect economic growth?1," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 115-135, June.
  2. Dermot Leahy & J Peter Neary, 2004. "Absorptive Capacity, R&D Spillovers, and Public Policy," Working Papers 200418, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  3. Blomström, Magnus & Sjöholm, Fredrik, 1998. "Technology, Transfer and Spillovers: Does Local Participation With Multinationals Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Faggio, Giulia & Konings, Jozef, 1999. "Gross Job Flows and Firm Growth in Transition Countries: Evidence Using Firm Level Data on Five Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Sanna-Randaccio, Francesca, 2002. "The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Home and Host Countries with Endogenous R&D," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 278-98, May.
  6. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
  7. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & DEC, 1994. "Do domestic firms benefit from foreign direct investment? Evidence from panel data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1248, The World Bank.
  8. Teece, David J, 1977. "Technology Transfer by Multinational Firms: The Resource Cost of Transferring Technological Know-how," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(346), pages 242-61, June.
  9. Repkine, Alexandre & Walsh, Patrick Paul, 1999. "Evidence of European Trade and Investment U-Shaping Industrial Output in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Romania," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 730-752, December.
  10. Levinsohn, James, 1999. "Employment responses to international liberalization in Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 321-344, April.
  11. Kokko, Ari, 1994. "Technology, market characteristics, and spillovers," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 279-293, April.
  12. Djankov, Simeon & Hoekman, Bernard, 1998. "Avenues of Technology Transfer: Foreign Investment and Productivity Change in the Czech Republic," CEPR Discussion Papers 1883, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
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