What are the Channels for Technology Sourcing? Panel Data Evidence from German Companies

21 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2014

See all articles by Dietmar Harhoff

Dietmar Harhoff

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNO-tec)

Elisabeth Mueller

German Graduate School of Management and Law

John Van Reenen

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); Stanford Graduate School of Business; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: Spring 2014

Abstract

Innovation processes within corporations increasingly tap into international technology sources, yet little is known about the relative contribution of different types of innovation channels. We investigate the effectiveness of different types of international technology sourcing activities using survey information on German companies complemented with information from the European Patent Office. German firms with inventors based in the United States disproportionately benefit from R&D knowledge located in the United States. The positive influence on total factor productivity is larger if the research of the inventors results in coapplications of patents with US companies. Moreover, research cooperation with American suppliers also enables German firms to better tap into US R&D, but cooperation with customers and competitors does not appear to aid technology sourcing. The results suggest that the “brain drain” to the United States can have upsides for corporations tapping into American know‐how.

Suggested Citation

Harhoff, Dietmar and Mueller, Elisabeth and Van Reenen, John Michael, What are the Channels for Technology Sourcing? Panel Data Evidence from German Companies (Spring 2014). Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Vol. 23, Issue 1, pp. 204-224, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2376556 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jems.12043

Dietmar Harhoff (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNO-tec) ( email )

Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
D-80539 Munich
Germany

Elisabeth Mueller

German Graduate School of Management and Law ( email )

Bildungscampus 2
Heilbronn, 74076
Germany

John Michael Van Reenen

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 6976 (Phone)
+44 20 7955 6848 (Fax)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7240 6740 (Phone)
+44 20 7240 6136 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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