Foreign Investment and Productivity Growth in Czech Enterprises
25 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: May 1, 1999
Foreign direct investment had a greater positive impact on total factor productivity in firms in the Czech Republic over a four - year period than joint ventures did, suggesting that parent firms transferred more know-how to affiliates than joint venture firms got from their partners. Firms without foreign partners experienced negative spillover effects, possibly because fewer training efforts made them less able to absorb and benefit from the diffusion of know-how.
Firm-level data for the Czech Republic (1992-96) suggest that foreign investment had a positive impact on recipient firms' total factor productivity (TFP) growth. This result is robust to corrections for the sample-selection bias that prevails because foreign investment tends to go to firms with above-average productivity performance.
This result is not surprising, given the presumption that foreign investors transfer new technologies and knowledge to partner firms. With some lag, this is likely to be reflected in greater TFP growth.
Foreign direct investment appears to have a greater impact on TFP growth than joint ventures, suggesting that parent firms are transferring more know-how (soft or hard) to affiliates than joint venture firms get from their partners.
Joint ventures and foreign direct investment together appear to have a negative spillover effect on firms that do not have foreign partnerships. This effect is relatively large and statistically significant. But if the focus is restricted to the impact of foreign-owned affiliates (foreign direct investment) on all other firms in an industry, the magnitude of the negative effect becomes much smaller and loses statistical significance.
This result, together with the fact that joint ventures and foreign direct investment together account for significant shares of total output in many industries, suggests that more research is needed to determine how much knowledge diffuses from firms with strong links to foreign firms to firms that do not have such links. Especially important is the extent of spillovers among joint venture firms and between foreign affiliates and firms with joint ventures.
Insofar as joint venture firms invest more in technological capacity (as suggested by their training efforts), those firms could be expected to be better able to absorb and benefit from the diffusion of know-how. The absence of such capacity may underlie the observed negative spillover effect on other firms in the industry. Longer time series and collection of data on variables that measure firms' in-house technological effort would help identify the magnitude and determinants of technological spillovers.
This paper - a product of the Financial Economics Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to understand the transition process in the Czech Republic.
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