Foreign Direct Investment, Competitive Pressure and Spillovers. An Empirical Analysis on Spanish Firm Level Data
Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 169
35 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2003
Date Written: November 2002
A short review of the theoretical and empirical evidence indicates that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has the potential to increase the intensity of competition as well as to act as a channel for technology transfers. One would expect, all else equal, an increase in average productivity following a wave of FDI, as multinational corporations (MNCs) enjoy higher levels of effciency. At the same time, the entry of foreign firms has also been associated with an increase in competitive pressure on the domestic market. Using a large firm level data set covering all sectors of Spanish manufacturing during the period 1983-1996, we attempt to disentangle these two effects by estimating a dynamic model of firm level profitability. We find that FDI has a positive long-run effect on the profitability of target firms, but this is limited to firms belonging to R&D intensive sectors. In addition, the results indicate that foreign presence dampens margins. However, this effect appears to be more than compensated by positive spillovers in the case of knowledge intensive industries.
Keywords: foreign direct investment, technology transfer, efficiency, competition, panel data, GMM
JEL Classification: F23, L40, L60
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation