Working Paper No. 553

Does FDI Work as a Channel for R&D Spillovers? Evidence Based on Swedish Data

Published: April 24, 2001Pages: 29Keywords: Multinational Enterprises; Foreign Direct Investment; Spillovers; Research and DevelopmentJEL-codes: F23; O32; O33

Does FDI Work as a Channel for R&D Spillovers? Evidence Based on Swedish Data Henrik Braconier, Karolina Ekholm and Karen Helene Midelfart Knarvik


Multinational enterprises (MNEs) are important in transmitting technology across national borders. Not only do they allow for transfer of technology within the firm, but it is also believed that they are important channels for international R&D spillovers as well. This paper analyzes empirically whether inward and outward foreign direct investment (FDI) work as channels for international R&D spillovers. We utilize firm-level as well as industry-level data for Swedish manufacturing in the analysis. We find no evidence of FDI-related R&D spillovers - neither at the firm-level nor at the industry-level in Swedish manufacturing. The only variable that consistently affects total factor productivity is own investment in R&D.

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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