IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Gravity of Cross-border R&D Expenditure

Listed author(s):
  • Bernhard Dachs
  • Sandra M. Leitner


    (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

  • Robert Stehrer


    (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

While up to the 1990s, R&D was still ‘an important case of non-globalization’ (Patel and Pavitt 1991), the internationalization of business R&D activities has accelerated significantly during the past two decades. R&D activities of foreign affiliates have become one of the most dynamic elements of the process of globalization. Until recently, the main recipients of cross-border R&D expenditure were developed countries, though new players have emerged lately, particularly in Asia. Against that backdrop, the paper applies a recently compiled novel data set on R&D expenditure of foreign-owned firms in the manufacturing sectors of a set of OECD countries and identifies specific home- and host-country characteristics that are conducive or obstructive to cross-border R&D expenditure of foreign affiliates. The results point to the pivotal role of market size and of cultural, physical and technological proximity for R&D efforts of foreign-owned firms. Moreover, the analysis demonstrates that sufficient human capital and strong indigenous technological capabilities in the host country tend to be conducive to R&D activities of foreign affiliates. In contrast, a rich human capital base in the home country is obstructive to the process of R&D internationalization. Geographic distance turns out to be a strong deterrent.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw in its series wiiw Working Papers with number 91.

in new window

Length: 24 pages including 5 Tables and 4 Figures
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Publication status: Published as wiiw Working Paper
Handle: RePEc:wii:wpaper:91
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Rahlgasse 3, A-1060 Vienna

Phone: (+43-1) 533 66 10
Fax: (+43-1) 533 66 10-50
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wii:wpaper:91. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Customer service)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.