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Technology Acquisition among Asian Firms and Technology Clusters in the United States

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  • Jessie Poon

    ()

  • Alan MacPherson

    ()

Abstract

This paper examines the nature of reverse technology transfer between Asian firms and their subsidiaries in the United States (US). Traditional models of technology transfer suggest that industrializing Asian firms access international technology and knowledge through local spillovers from the activities of foreign firms located in Asia. In this research, we propose a new model of technology development where Asian subsidiaries locate in targeted geographical areas in the US with the objective of acquiring both tacit and codifiable knowledge. Acquisition patterns involve a combination of interactions between suppliers and customers, and, human resource dynamics in the US. Industrial prototypes and knowledge are then transferred back to parent firms in Asia. This pattern of technology development among industrializing Asian firms suggests that a category of subsidiaries is emerging that plays a far more developmental role than the literature currently acknowledges. It also points to shifts in firm strategy in terms of international patterns of technology transfer from learning-by-doing to learning-by-interacting.

Suggested Citation

  • Jessie Poon & Alan MacPherson, 2003. "Technology Acquisition among Asian Firms and Technology Clusters in the United States," ERSA conference papers ersa03p203, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p203
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    File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa03/cdrom/papers/203.pdf
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    1. Vertova, Giovanna, 2002. "A historical investigation of the geography of innovative activities," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 259-283, September.
    2. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-640, June.
    3. Wu, Xiaohong & Strange, Roger, 2000. "The location of foreign insurance companies in China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 383-398, June.
    4. Coughlin, Cletus C & Terza, Joseph V & Arromdee, Vachira, 1991. "State Characteristics and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment within the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 675-683, November.
    5. Baptista, Rui, 2000. "Do innovations diffuse faster within geographical clusters?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 515-535, April.
    6. Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge codification and the geography of innovation: the case of Brescia mechanical cluster," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1479-1500, December.
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