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Linkages between Multinationals and Indigenous Firms: Evidence for the Electronics Sector in Ireland


  • Holger Görg
  • Frances Ruane


This paper analyses the concept of linkages and studies the development and the determinants of inter-firm linkages between electronics firms in Ireland and domestic sub-suppliers using firm level data for 1982 to 1995. We discuss the concept of inter-firm linkages and the effects of linkages. We argue that the concept of linkages developed by Hirschman (1958) is an inter-sectoral concept which can arise as a result of underlying inter-firm linkages. Our empirical analysis indicates that foreign-owned electronic firms in Ireland source, on average, 24 per cent of their inputs in Ireland, which compares favourably with an estimate for foreign firms in Scottish electronics industries. In an econometric estimation, using panel data techniques, we find that firms in the Irish electronics sector increase their backward linkages over time; that foreign firms have lower linkages than Irish-owned firms; and that large and expanding firms have lower linkages than other firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Holger Görg & Frances Ruane, 1998. "Linkages between Multinationals and Indigenous Firms: Evidence for the Electronics Sector in Ireland," Economics Technical Papers 9813, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduet:9813

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-880.
    2. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Foreign direct investment as a catalyst for industrial development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 335-356, February.
    3. Leddin, A & Walsh, B, 1997. "Economic Stabilisation, Recovery, and Growth : Ireland 1979-1996," Papers 97/08, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
    4. Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Markusen, James R. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 1996. "Trade policy subtleties with multinational firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1605-1627, November.
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    6. Anthony J. Leddin & Brendan M. Walsh, 1997. "Economic stabilisation, recovery, and growth : Ireland 1979-1996," Working Papers 199708, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    7. Venables, Anthony J, 1996. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(2), pages 341-359, May.
    8. repec:sae:niesru:v:160:y::i:1:p:76-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Carl Davidson & Steven J. Matusz & Mordechai E. Kreinin, 1985. "Analysis of Performance Standards for Direct Foreign Investments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(4), pages 876-890, November.
    10. P N O'Farrell & B O'Loughlin, 1981. "New Industry Input Linkages in Ireland: An Econometric Analysis," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 13(3), pages 285-308, March.
    11. Richardson, Martin, 1993. "Content Protection with Foreign Capital," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 103-117, January.
    12. Frances Ruane & Holger Görg, 1997. "The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Sectoral Adjustment in the Irish Economy," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 160(1), pages 76-86, April.
    13. P N O'Farrell & B O'Loughlin, 1981. "New industry input linkages in Ireland: an econometric analysis," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 13(3), pages 285-308, March.
    14. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 1996. "Multinationals, Linkages, and Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 852-873, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ana Tavares, 2002. "Multinational Subsidiary Evolution and Public Policy: Two Tales from the European Periphery," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 195-213, September.
    2. Lall, Sanjaya & Narula, Rajneesh, 2004. "FDI and its role in economic development: Do we need a new agenda?," Research Memorandum 019, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Görg, H & Ruane, F, 1999. "Globalisation and Fragmentation: Evidence from the Electronics Industry in Ireland," Trinity Economics Papers 9911, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    4. Narula, Rajneesh & Portelli, Brian, 2004. "Foreign direct investment and economic development: Opportunities and limitations from a developing country perspective," Research Memorandum 009, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Stephen Roper & Amnon Frenkel, 2000. "Different paths to success—the growth of the electronics sector in Ireland and Israel," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 18(6), pages 651-665, December.
    6. Crone, Mike & Roper, Stephen, 1999. "Knowledge Transfers from Multi-national Plants in Northern Ireland," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa053, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Mary O'Sullivan, 2000. "The sustainability of industrial development in Ireland," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 277-290.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • R34 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Input Demand Analysis


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