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CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University Papers in Innovation Studies, CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University

No 2011/1:
SMEs´ absorptive capacities and large firms´ knowledge spillovers: Micro evidence from Mexico

Claudia De Fuentes () and Gabriela Dutrénit ()

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the relationship between large firms´ knowledge spillovers and small and medium enterprises absorptive capacities. We build ad-hoc indicators for these two concepts following a factor analysis methodology, and we carry out a structural equations analysis to determine the relationship between them. Based on firm level original data from a survey that focuses on SMEs in a Mexican locality, this paper argues that in a low-tech and mature sector, such as the machine shop sector, that operates in a loosely articulated local system, two knowledge spillover mechanisms are relevant: the backward linkages and the employees´ mobility. Regarding SMEs’ absorptive capacities they are strongly influenced by organizational capabilities and innovation and learning activities. We also argue that large firms’ knowledge spillovers are strongly correlated to SMEs absorptive capacities within the sector and locality analyzed.

Keywords: Absorptive capacities; Knowledge spillovers; SME-large firms interaction; Mexico; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: O30; (follow links to similar papers)

28 pages, January 20, 2011

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