Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 111: Overseas R&D by Multinationals in foreign Centers of Excellence

Gunnar Fors and Mario Zejan
Additional contact information
Gunnar Fors: The Industrial Institute for Economics and Social Research, Postal: IUI, Box 5501, S-114 85 Stockholm, Sweden
Mario Zejan: Department of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of overseas R&D by Swedish multinationals. Our empirical results indicate that the location of R&D abroad to a large extent is motivated by the need to adapt products and processes to conditions in the foreign markets where the firms operate. However, we also find that the MNEs tend to locate their R&D in host countries which are relatively specialized technologically in the firms' own areas. This finding may suggest that one additional motive to locating R&D abroad is to gain access to knowledge in foreign "centers of excellence" and benefit from localized spillovers.

Keywords: Overseas R&D; technology sourcing; multinationals

JEL-codes: O32; F23

21 pages, March 1996

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