Multinational Firms, Innovation and Productivity
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Multinational Firms, Innovation and Productivity

Davide Castellani and Antonello Zanfei

This book gets to the root of how and why multinational firms differ in the cross-border creation, transfer and diffusion of technology, and provides fresh evidence on the effects that these differences have on productivity and innovation in the economic systems in which they are active.
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Davide Castellani and Antonello Zanfei


1. The share of high-tech products (including electrical and electronic equipment, aerospace products, precision instruments, fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals) in world exports rose from 8 per cent in 1976 to 23 per cent in 2000 (UNCTAD 2002, pp. 146–7). The average annual growth rate of patents obtained by national inventors in foreign countries rose from 0.9 per cent in 1970–1980 to 13.3 per cent in 1984–1994 (Archibugi and Iammarino 2002). Foreign-owned inventions, accounted for about 14.7 per cent of patents applied for in OECD countries over the 1999–2001 period (OECD 2005). The number of international technology collaborations recorded by the Merit-CATI database has almost doubled from 339 to 602 in the 1991–2001 period, with a growing dominance of non-equity partnerships, including supply agreements and strategic technical alliances, whose share has grown from 78 per cent to 91 per cent of total cooperative ventures (UNCTAD 2005; Hagedoorn 2002). MNFs steadily increased their R&D spending abroad from 15 per cent of their total R&D budget in 1995 to 22 per cent in 2001 (Roberts, 2001). More details and discussion on the evidence on the international dispersion of innovative activities and on international technology partnering in Chapter 2. We are grateful to John Cantwell for calling our attention to this point. The rest of this section draws heavily on Narula and Zanfei (2005). Although the HBE-HBA terminology has become widely used in the literature, it is worth observing that this classification scheme is less accurate,...

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