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Technology Capital Transfer

  • Ellen R. McGrattan

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

  • Edward C. Prescott

    (Arizona State University)

  • Thomas J. Holmes

    (University of Minnesota)

It is widely believed that an important factor underlying the rapid growth in China is increased foreign direct investment (FDI) and the transfer of foreign technology capital, which is accumulated know-how from investment in research and development (R\&D), brands, and organizations that is not specific to a plant. In this paper, we study two channels through which FDI can contribute to upgrading of the stock of technology capital: knowledge spillovers and appropriation. Knowledge spillovers lead to new ideas that do not directly compete or devalue the foreign affiliate's stock. Appropriation, on the other hand, implies a redistribution of property rights over patents and trademarks; the gain to domestic companies comes at a loss to the multinational company (MNC). In this paper we build these sources of technology capital transfer into the framework developed by McGrattan and Prescott (2009, 2010) and introduce an endogenously-chosen intensity margin for operating technology capital in order to capture the trade-offs MNCs face when expanding their markets internationally. We show that economic outcomes differ dramatically depending on which channel of technology capital transfer is operative.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 676.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:676
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
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  1. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2010. "Technology Capital and the US Current Account," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1493-1522, September.
  2. Ellen McGrattan, 2009. "Transition to FDI Openness," 2009 Meeting Papers 463, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Andres Rodriguez-Clare & Natalia Ramondo, 2007. "Trade, Multinational Production, and the Gains from Openness," 2007 Meeting Papers 819, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1996. "The Theory of Endowment, Intra-Industry, and Multinational Trade," NBER Working Papers 5529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ellen McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2007. "Openness, Technology Capital, and Development," NBER Working Papers 13515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Markusen, James R., 2001. "Contracts, intellectual property rights, and multinational investment in developing countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 189-204, February.
  7. Branstetter, Lee & Fisman, Ray & Foley, C. Fritz & Saggi, Kamal, 2011. "Does intellectual property rights reform spur industrial development?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 27-36, January.
  8. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1990. "Endogenous Market Structures in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lai, Edwin L. -C., 1998. "International intellectual property rights protection and the rate of product innovation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 133-153, February.
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