Foreign Know-How, Firm Control, and the Income of Developing Countries
51 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2007 Last revised: 23 Mar 2022
Date Written: May 2007
Managerial know-how shapes the productivity of firms by defining the set of available technologies, production choices, and market opportunities. This know-how can be reallocated across countries as managers acquire control of factors of production abroad. In this paper, we construct a quantitative model of cross-country income differences to study the aggregate consequences of international mobility of managerial know-how. We use the model and aggregate data to infer the relative scarcity of this form of know-how for a sample of developing countries. We also conduct policy counterfactuals and find that on average, developing countries gain up to 23% in output and 9% in consumption when they eliminate all barriers to foreign control of domestic factors of production.
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