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International Knowledge Spillovers through High-Tech Imports and R&D of Foreign-Owned Firms

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Heike Belitz, Florian Mölders

In: The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development 25 (2016), 4, S. 590-613


The international transmission of knowledge through import spillovers, as a source of Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth, has received much attention in the literature. We investigate two additional direct channels through which R&D disseminates: the import of high-technology goods and the internationalization of business R&D. Building on an extensive data-set, covering both developing and industrial countries, we add foreign-owned patents as a proxy for R&D activities of foreign multinationals. While we confirm the significance of import spillovers for all countries included, we find additional spillovers for developing countries through the import of high-technology goods. Only developed economies seem to benefit from the diffusion of knowledge that originates through cross-border cooperation in R&D by multinationals.

JEL-Classification: F14;F23;O47
Keywords: Productivity growth, technology diffusion, multinational enterprise