Technology, MNEs activity and Italian skill upgrading
This paper analyses empirically whether skill-biased technological change and foreign direct investment play a role in explaining the skill-upgrading in Italian manufacturing industry during the 1990s. To test this issue I use, simultaneously, industry level data from two groups of firms: foreign owned firms and Italian multinational firms investing abroad. But while the results do not find evidence of skill upgrading transmitted through R&D effort undertaken by Italian parents, they support the hypothesis of a positive role played by the group of foreign owned firms. This result is confirmed especially in low-tech sectors. However, this positive impact may be partially or completely offset if the share of inward FDI activity increases over a certain threshold. The empirical evidence does not provide support that the R&D effort undertaken in high-tech sectors by each group of firms has influence on Italian skill upgrading
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