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Heterogeneous MNC Subsidiaries and Technological Spillovers: Explaining Positive and Negative Effects in India

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  • Anabel Marin

    () (SPRU: Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex, UK)

  • Subash Sasidharan

    () (Madras School of Economics)

Abstract

One of the most intriguing aspects of the recent empirical literature on FDI-related spillover effects is the increasing identification of mixed results. A few studies, particularly in advanced countries have found positive effects; however, a more common scenario in recent studies is the prevalence of insignificant or even negative effects. This is despite the fact that theory predicts substantial positive effects in association with a supposed technological superiority of MNCs relative to domestic firms, particularly in the context of less advanced countries. In this paper, by distinguishing subsidiaries according to their orientation to carry out creative vs. exploitation activities in the host economy, we are able to distinguish situations with positive and negative spillover effects, and we explain why they may be emerging. More specifically, we find that only subsidiaries that are oriented to technologically creative activities have significant and positive effects in India. In contrast, subsidiaries oriented mostly to technologically exploitative activities generate negative effects in some circumstances. The implications for theory and policy are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Anabel Marin & Subash Sasidharan, 2010. "Heterogeneous MNC Subsidiaries and Technological Spillovers: Explaining Positive and Negative Effects in India," Working Papers 2010-053, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
  • Handle: RePEc:mad:wpaper:2010-053
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    1. Dachs, Bernhard & Peters, Bettina, 2014. "Innovation, employment growth, and foreign ownership of firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 214-232.
    2. repec:bla:jecsur:v:31:y:2017:i:2:p:546-571 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Rajneesh Narula & André Pineli, 2016. "Multinational Enterprises and Economic Development in Host Countries: What We Know and What We Don’t Know," John H Dunning Centre for International Business Discussion Papers jhd-dp2016-01, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    4. Philipp Harms & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2013. "The Growth Effects of Greenfield Investment and Mergers and Acquisitions: Econometric Investigation and Implication for MENA Countries," Working Papers 794, Economic Research Forum, revised Nov 2013.
    5. Harms, Philipp & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, 2011. "An FDI is an FDI is an FDI? The growth effects of greenfield investment and mergers and acquisitions in developing countries," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 38, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    6. Marin, Anabel & Bell, Martin, 2010. "The local/global integration of MNC subsidiaries and their technological behaviour: Argentina in the late 1990s," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 919-931, September.
    7. Ha, Yoo Jung & Giroud, Axèle, 2015. "Competence-creating subsidiaries and FDI technology spillovers," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 605-614.
    8. Huang, Shu-Chin, 2013. "Capital outflow and R&D investment in the parent firm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 245-260.
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    10. Ingo Liefner & Yehua Dennis Wei & Gang Zeng, 2013. "The Innovativeness and Heterogeneity of Foreign-Invested High-Tech Companies in Shanghai," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 522-549, September.
    11. Giroud, Axèle & Jindra, Björn & Marek, Philipp, 2012. "Heterogeneous FDI in Transition Economies – A Novel Approach to Assess the Developmental Impact of Backward Linkages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(11), pages 2206-2220.
    12. K. Lenaerts & B. Merlevede, 2014. "FDI Spillovers and Multinational Firm Heterogeneity," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 14/879, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    13. Franco, Chiara, 2013. "Exports and FDI motivations: Empirical evidence from U.S. foreign subsidiaries," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 47-62.
    14. Giuliani, Elisa & Gorgoni, Sara & Günther, Christina & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2014. "Emerging versus advanced country MNEs investing in Europe: A typology of subsidiary global–local connections," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 680-691.
    15. Chiara Franco & John P. Weche Gelübcke, 2015. "The Death of German Firms: What Role for Foreign Direct Investment?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 677-703, April.
    16. Luis Alberiko Gil-Alaña & Fernando Pérez de Gracia & Robert Mudida, 2013. "Persistence, long memory and seasonality in Kenyan tourism series," NCID Working Papers 05/2013, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.
    17. Philipp Harms & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2014. "Good and bad FDI: The growth effects of greenfield investment and mergers and acquisitions in developing countries," Working Papers CEB 14-021, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    18. Dachs, Bernhard, 2017. "Internationalisation of R&D: A Review of Drivers, Impacts, and new Lines of Research," MPRA Paper 83367, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Smeets, Roger & de Vaal, Albert, 2016. "Intellectual Property Rights and the productivity effects of MNE affiliates on host-country firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 419-434.
    20. Elisa Giuliani & Chiara Macchi, 2013. "Multinational Corporations’ Economic And Human Rights Impacts On Developing Countries: A Review And Research Agenda," Discussion Papers 2013/158, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    21. repec:spr:jknowl:v:9:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s13132-015-0339-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Nazeem Mustapha & Pedro Mendi, 2013. "Multinational corporations as channels for international technology transfer: evidence from the South African innovation survey," NCID Working Papers 04/2013, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    technological spillovers; MNCs; emerging economies; subsidiaries; heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies

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