Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 2016/14: Are multinationals better at creating technical linkages with local firms?

Claudio Cozza (), Giulio Perani () and Antonello Zanfei ()
Additional contact information
Claudio Cozza: University of Trieste, Postal: Italy
Giulio Perani: ISTAT & Eurostat, Postal: Italy, Luxembourg
Antonello Zanfei: University of Urbino, Postal: Italy

Abstract: Using data on R&D investors active in Italy and controlling for various indicators of absorptive capacity and for the regional distribution of research activities, we show that multinationality is associated with a higher propensity to technical linkage creation. We also find that domestic owned multinationals are more inclined to R&D contracting out, while foreign multinationals are better at developing R&D cooperation with external parties. However, foreign multinationals are less prone than domestic companies to set up linkages with local counterparts. This suggests that while foreign multinationals generally possess advantages in terms of absorptive capacity and economies of common governance, they might as well face relative disadvantages in terms of experience of local contexts, inhibiting their propensity to set up on-site technical linkages.

Keywords: Absorptive capacity; R&D; technical linkages; Multinationals

JEL-codes: F10; F23; O33

32 pages, April 27, 2016

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201614_cozza_et_al.pdf PDF-file 

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