Ethnic Innovation and U.S. Multinational Firm Activity

34 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2011 Last revised: 4 Oct 2013

See all articles by C. Fritz Foley

C. Fritz Foley

Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

William Kerr

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 1, 2012

Abstract

This paper studies the impact that ethnic innovators have on the global activities of U.S. firms by analyzing detailed data on patent applications and on the operations of the foreign affiliates of U.S. multinational .rms. The results indicate that increases in the share of a firm’s innovation performed by inventors of a particular ethnicity are associated with increases in the share of that firm’s affiliate activity in countries related to that ethnicity. Ethnic innovators also appear to facilitate the disintegration of innovative activity across borders and to allow U.S. multinationals to form new affiliates abroad without the support of local joint venture partners.

Keywords: Foreign Direct Investment, Technology Transfer, Patents, Innovation, Research and Development, Ethnic Networks, Diasporas

JEL Classification: F23, J15, O31, O32, O33

Suggested Citation

Foley, C. Fritz and Kerr, William R., Ethnic Innovation and U.S. Multinational Firm Activity (August 1, 2012). Harvard Business School Finance Working Paper No. 12-006; Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Working Paper No. 12-006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1911295 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1911295

C. Fritz Foley

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6375 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

William R. Kerr (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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