European economic review vol:48 issue:2 pages:455-476
The use of foreign direct investment as a channel of international spillovers is by now fairly established in the empirical literature on innovation and growth. It is often argued that subsidiaries of foreign multinational enterprises are a mechanism through which technological know-how flows across borders. For foreign subsidiaries to be channels of international spillovers, these subsidiaries need to source know-how internationally and transfer their know-how to the local economy. Using direct firm level evidence from the Belgian Community Innovation Survey on the occurrence of technology transfers, we find that foreign subsidiaries are indeed more likely to acquire technology internationally. But after controlling for the superior access to the international technology market that foreign subsidiaries enjoy, we find that these firms are not more likely to transfer technology to the local economy as compared to local firms. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.