Technology spillovers from foreign investors in transition economies - are the effects still expected?
Economic and business review,
While it is widely acknowledged that there is a technology transfer from parent companies to foreign subsidiaries in central East European countries, there is no clear cut evidence for technology spillovers in favour of domestic companies so far. The paper presents a theoretical framework for how spillover mechanisms are turned into a reality and outlines empirical findings on technology spillovers for transition economies based on a comprehensive literature review. Against the background of an empirical qualitative study, the paper provides firm level explanations for the obvious lack of technology spillovers. Policy oriented issues will be discussed in the conclusions.
Eastern Germany in the process of catching-up: the role of foreign and Western German investors in technological renewal
Eastern European Economics,
Foreign direct investment as a means to support system transformation and the ongoing process of catching-up development has caught researcher’s attention for a number of Central and Eastern European countries. Not much research, however, has been carried out for East Germany in this respect although FDI plays an important role in East Germany too. Descriptive analysis by the use of unique survey data shows that foreign and West German affiliates perform much better with respect to technological capability and labor productivity than domestic companies in East Germany. The results of the regression analysis, however, show that it is not the status of ownership as such that forms a significant determinant of innovativeness in East Germany but rather general firms specific characteristics attached to it such as firm size, export-intensity, technical state of the equipment, and R&D activities. Due to the fact that foreign and West German affiliates perform better with respect to exactly all of these characteristics, they can be considered as a means to support the process of technological renewal and economic development.
Determinants and Effects of Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from German Firm-Level Data
Foreign direct investment is an essential aspect of ‘globalization’ yet its empirical determinants are not well understood. What we do know is based either on poor data for a wide range of nations, or good data for the US and Swedish cases. In this paper, we provide evidence on the determinants of the activities of German multinational firms by using a newly available firm-level data set from the Deutsche Bundesbank. The specific goal of this paper is to demonstrate the relative role of country-level and firm-level determinants of foreign direct investment. We focus on three main questions: First, what are the main driving forces of German firms’ multinational activities? Second, is there evidence that sector-level and firm-level factors shape internationalization patterns? Third, is there evidence of agglomeration effects in the foreign activities of German firms? We find that the market access motive for internationalization dominates. Firms move abroad mainly to gain better access to large foreign markets. Cost-saving motives, however, are important for some manufacturing sectors. Our results strongly suggest that firm-level heterogeneity has an important influence on internationalization patterns – as stressed by recent models of international trade. We also find positive agglomeration effects for the activities of German firms that stem from the number of other German firms that are active on a given foreign market. In terms of lessons for economic policy, our results show that lowering barriers to the integration of markets and encouraging the formation of human capital can promote the activities of multinational firms. However, our results related to the heterogeneity of firms and agglomeration tendencies show that it might be difficult to fine-tune policies directed at the exploitation of synergies and at the creation of clusters of foreign firms.
Technology spillovers through foreign direct investment. An empirical investigation on the example of Hungarian industry
Schriften des IWH,
With the beginning of transition in Central East European countries, foreign direct investment increased strongly whereby foreign subsidiaries transfer modern production technology and management know-how. However, it has remained an open question, how far domestic enterprises also benefit from these developments via technology spillovers. The study points out theoretically possible channels of technology spillovers and empirically investigates the significance, scope and influencing factors of the various spillovers channels on the example of Hungarian industry. The findings show that there are hardly any spillover effects in Hungarian industry so far. Major reasons for that are the strong technological disparities between foreign subsidiaries and domestic firms as well as the lack of labor mobility from foreign to domestic enterprises.