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Does foreign direct investment transfer technology across borders?

Listed author(s):
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe
  • Frank Lichtenberg

Previous studies have found that importing goods from R&D-intensive countries raises a country's productivity. In this paper, we investigate econometrically whether foreign direct investment (FDI) also transfers technology across borders. The data indicates that FDI transfers technology, but only in one direction: a country's productivity is increased if it invests in R&D-intensive foreign countries-particularly in recent years-but not if foreign R&D-intensive countries invest in it. Other findings of the paper are that the ratio of foreign-R&D benefits conveyed by outward FDI to foreign R&D benefits conveyed by imports is higher for large countries than it is for small ones, that failure to account for international R&D spillovers leads to upwardly biased estimates of the output elasticity of the domestic R&D capital stock, and that there are much larger transfers of technology from the United States to Japan than there are from Japan to the United States. © 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/6221.

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Date of creation: 2001
Publication status: Published in: The Review of Economics and Statistics (2001) v.83 n° 3,p.490-497
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/6221
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