Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 154: Multinationals in the Knowledge Economy - a case study of AstraZeneca in Sweden

Martin Andersson (), Börje Johansson (), Charlie Karlsson () and Hans Lööf ()
Additional contact information
Martin Andersson: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Börje Johansson: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Charlie Karlsson: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Hans Lööf: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This report presents a case study of the role of a large R&D intensive multinational company for a small open economy. The case study examines the role of AstraZeneca in the Swedish economy, i.e. an economy dominated by multinational companies. The purpose of the report is to analyze the interaction of AstraZeneca’s units in Sweden with the rest of the Swedish economy, and the Swedish innovation system in particular. We analyze the company’s role as an employer in the private sector, its transaction links with other Swedish firms and its role for Sweden’s exports. In a second perspective we focus on the company’s role in the Swedish knowledge economy and innovation system. The report analyses the company as a node for knowledge flows in the Swedish economy and innovation system, and its role as an employer of highly educated and skilled workers in Sweden.Our analysis of the Swedish units’ interaction with the rest of the Swedish economy shows that ’traditional’ couplings in the form of transactions with Swedish suppliers are limited. It is instead the company’s position in the ‘knowledge economy’ that makes its presence in Sweden important.

Keywords: R&D; multinationals; innovation systems; innovation networks; R&D networks; pharmaceutical; anchor-tenant; spillovers; knolwedge flows

JEL-codes: D57; F14; F23; L14; L22; L65; O12; O31; O32

91 pages, November 12, 2008

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