IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Lost in Translation - Empirical Evidence for Liability of Foreignness as Barriers to Knowledge Spillovers

  • Tobias Schmidt

    (ZEW Mannheim)

  • Wolfgang Sofka

    (ZEW Mannheim)

Entering host country networks of knowledge flows (new competencies, innovative technologies, and lead-market knowledge) is a major rationale of multinational firms for investing abroad. Foreign firms find it difficult to overcome cultural and social barriers which make their foreign engagements more strenuous and error prone (liability of foreignness). In our analysis we break down the complex mechanisms behind knowledge spillovers and identify conceptual links with liability of foreignness. We hypothesise that liability of foreignness acts as a filter for foreign firms, restricting their access to host country knowledge. We use a broad sample of roughly 1,000 firms in Germany to empirically test the existence of liabilities of foreignness in leveraging knowledge spillovers. Our particular setting allows us to distinguish between upstream (suppliers, academia) and downstream (customers) liabilities of foreignness. We find that multinational firms can compete on an equal footing with host country rivals when it comes to generating impulses for innovations from suppliers and academia. They are significantly challenged by liabilities of foreignness, though, where customers are involved. We suggest that the frictional losses from a lack of social and cultural embeddedness (liability of foreignness) in the host country are especially relevant when promising lead customers have to be identified and their tacit and often unarticulated impulses have to be transferred, understood and prioritised.

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: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/io/papers/0512/0512012.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0512012.

as
in new window

Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 21 Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0512012
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 28
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Keilbach, Max & Bönte, Werner, 2004. "Concubinage or Marriage? Informal and Formal Cooperations for Innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-11, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. DeYoung, Robert & Nolle, Daniel E, 1996. "Foreign-Owned Banks in the United States: Earning Market Share or Buying It?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 622-36, November.
  4. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Wolfgang Sofka & Tobias Schmidt, 2005. "I Like the Way you Move - An Empirical Investigation into the Mechanisms Behind First Mover and Follower Strategies," Industrial Organization 0506010, EconWPA.
  6. Cowan, Robin & David, Paul A & Foray, Dominique, 2000. "The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 211-53, June.
  7. Harabi, Najib, 1995. "Channels of R&D Spillovers: An Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 26270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1999. "International Knowledge Flows: Evidence From Patent Citations," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1-2), pages 105-136.
  9. Alan M. Rugman & Alain Verbeke, 2004. "A Perspective on Regional and Global Strategies of Multinational Enterprises," Working Papers 2004-19, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  10. Tobias Schmidt, 2010. "Absorptive capacity-one size fits all? A firm-level analysis of absorptive capacity for different kinds of knowledge," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(1), pages 1-18.
  11. Jaideep Anand & Bruce Kogut, 1997. "Technological Capabilities of Countries, Firm Rivalry and Foreign Direct Investments," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 28(3), pages 445-465, September.
  12. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
  13. Hajivassiliou, Vassilis & McFadden, Daniel & Ruud, Paul, 1996. "Simulation of multivariate normal rectangle probabilities and their derivatives theoretical and computational results," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 85-134.
  14. Hagedoorn, John, 2002. "Inter-firm R&D partnerships: an overview of major trends and patterns since 1960," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 477-492, May.
  15. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2002. "R&D Cooperation and Spillovers: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1169-1184, September.
  17. James Adams, 2006. "Learning, internal research, and spillovers," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 5-36.
  18. Hennart, Jean-François & Roehl, Thomas & Zeng, Ming, 2002. "Do exits proxy a liability of foreignness?: The case of Japanese exits from the US," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 241-264.
  19. Warren J Bilkey & Erik Nes, 1982. "Country-of-Origin Effects on Product Evaluations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 13(1), pages 89-100, March.
  20. Michael D Lord & Annette L Ranft, 2000. "Organizational Learning About New International Markets: Exploring the Internal Transfer of Local Market Knowledge," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 31(4), pages 573-589, December.
  21. Lenn Gomes & Kannan Ramaswamy, 1999. "An Empirical Examination of the Form of the Relationship Between Multinationality and Performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(1), pages 173-187, March.
  22. Walter Kuemmerle, 1999. "The Drivers of Foreign Direct Investment into Research and Development: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(1), pages 1-24, March.
  23. Yves Doz & C K Prahalad, 1984. "Patterns of Strategic Control Within Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 15(2), pages 55-72, June.
  24. Irwin, Douglas A & Klenow, Peter J, 1994. "Learning-by-Doing Spillovers in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1200-1227, December.
  25. Petersen, Bent & Pedersen, Torben, 2002. "Coping with liability of foreignness: Different learning engagements of entrant firms," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 339-350.
  26. Miller, Stewart R. & Richards, Malika, 2002. "Liability of foreignness and membership in a regional economic group: Analysis of the European Union," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 323-337.
  27. Caves, Richard E, 1971. "International Corporations: The Industrial Economics of Foreign Investment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 38(149), pages 1-27, February.
  28. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
  29. Mike Bartholomaei, 2005. "To Know is to Be: Three Perspectives on the Codification of Knowledge," SPRU Working Paper Series 131, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  30. Nadiri, M.I., 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," Working Papers 93-31, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  31. M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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:wpa:wuwpio:0512012. 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: (EconWPA)

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.