Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 553: Does FDI Work as a Channel for R&D Spillovers? Evidence Based on Swedish Data

Henrik Braconier , Karolina Ekholm () and Karen Helene Midelfart Knarvik ()
Additional contact information
Henrik Braconier: The Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Karolina Ekholm: Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Karen Helene Midelfart Knarvik: Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: Hellevn. 30, N-5035 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: Multinational enterprises (MNEs) are important in transmitting technology across national borders. Not only do they allow for transfer of technology within the firm, but it is also believed that they are important channels for international R&D spillovers as well. This paper analyzes empirically whether inward and outward foreign direct investment (FDI) work as channels for international R&D spillovers. We utilize firm-level as well as industry-level data for Swedish manufacturing in the analysis. We find no evidence of FDI-related R&D spillovers - neither at the firm-level nor at the industry-level in Swedish manufacturing. The only variable that consistently affects total factor productivity is own investment in R&D.

Keywords: Multinational enterprises; Foreign direct investment; Spillovers; Research and development

JEL-codes: F23; O32; O33

27 pages, May 2, 2001

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