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Do Foreign-Owned Firms Have a Lower Innovation Intensity Than Domestic Firms?


  • Martin Falk


  • Rahel Falk



This paper addresses the question of whether foreign ownership matters regarding innovation intensity. It is well documented that foreign firms display lower innovation and R&D intensity than local firms do. However, (foreign) investors bear not only innovation performances in mind when making up their investment decisions. Unless factors such as firm size, labour productivity, skill and export intensity, sectoral affiliation and geographical area of operation are not properly controlled for, one is running the risk of comparing apples and oranges. To account for the selectivity bias we employ matching estimators when comparing the innovation intensity between domestic and foreign-owned firms. The observed gaps in innovation intensities do not only survive this matching test, but turn out higher as compared to the results that would have been derived from conventional regression analyses.

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  • Martin Falk & Rahel Falk, 2006. "Do Foreign-Owned Firms Have a Lower Innovation Intensity Than Domestic Firms?," WIFO Working Papers 275, WIFO.
  • Handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2006:i:275

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
    2. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    3. Dirk Czarnitzki & Bernd Ebersberger & Andreas Fier, 2007. "The relationship between R&D collaboration, subsidies and R&D performance: Empirical evidence from Finland and Germany," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1347-1366.
    4. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    5. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & Helen Simpson, 2004. "Foreign Ownership and Productivity: New Evidence from the Service Sector and the R&D Lab," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 440-456, Autumn.
    6. Almus, Matthias & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2003. "The Effects of Public R&D Subsidies on Firms' Innovation Activities: The Case of Eastern Germany," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(2), pages 226-236, April.
    7. Ebersberger, Bernd & Lööf, Hans, 2004. "Multinational Enterprises, Spillovers, Innovation and Productivity," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 22, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    8. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-475, June.
    9. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stiebale, Joel, 2012. "Cross-Border M&A and Innovative Activity: Firm-Level Evidence," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62027, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Stiebale, Joel, 2010. "The Impact of Foreign Acquisitions on the Investors' R&D Activities – Firm-level Evidence," Ruhr Economic Papers 161, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Joel Stiebale & Frank Reize, 2008. "The Impact of FDI on Innovation in Target Firms," Ruhr Economic Papers 0050, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Stiebale, Joel & Reize, Frank, 2011. "The impact of FDI through mergers and acquisitions on innovation in target firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 155-167, March.
    5. Jaan Masso & Tõnu Roolaht & Urmas Varblane, 2010. "Foreign Direct Investment And Innovation In Central And Eastern Europe: Evidence From Estonia," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 67, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    6. repec:zbw:rwirep:0161 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0050 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Döhrn, Roland & Engel, Dirk & Stiebale, Joel, 2008. "Außenhandel und ausländische Direktinvestitionen deutscher Unternehmen," Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem 3-2008, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin.
    9. Joel Stiebale, 2010. "The Impact of Foreign Acquisitions on the Investors‘ R&D Activities – Firm-level Evidence," Ruhr Economic Papers 0161, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.


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