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Intellectual Returnees as Drivers of Indigenous Innovation: Evidence from the Chinese Photovoltaic Industry

  • Siping Luo
  • Mary E. Lovely
  • David Popp

We offer new evidence on indigenous innovation and intellectual returnees by estimating the relationship between patenting by Chinese photovoltaic firms and the presence of corporate leaders with international experience. Our research approach combines data from three sources: the industrial census, international and domestic patent records, and leadership biographical information. Using nonlinear methods, we find robust evidence that returnees positively influence patenting activity and also promote neighboring firm innovation. We find no tendency for export intensive firms to patent more. Controlling for R&D expenditures, we find that firms with returnees in leadership roles have more patents.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19518.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19518
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