Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

May 10, 2018

# 18.20 Heterogeneous Foreign Direct Investment and Local Innovation in Italian Provinces

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , — T.Broekel @ 12:24 pm

Andrea Ascani & Pierre-Alexandre Balland


Abstract: Countries and regions all over the world compete to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as a way to access knowledge, technology, and boost economic development. Although the literature shows a positive impact of FDI on local economies, little is known about (1) the impact on innovation of neighbouring regions and the type of FDI that generates the strongest learning effects. To fill this gap, this article investigates the relationship between FDI and the innovation capacity of Italian provinces (NUTS3). In order to capture the heterogeneity of FDI in terms of knowledge inputs, we apply the Pavitt categorisation of manufacturing sectors to inward FDI within Italian provinces, thus accounting for the nature and sources of knowledge in different sectors where foreign multinationals are active. Our results suggest that only some specific typologies of inward FDI, such as that in “Science based” sectors and to a lesser extent in “Specialised supplier” activities, benefit local economies. Nevertheless, other types of inward FDI can produce possible negative outcomes in terms of local innovation. We detect only weak evidence on the spatial implications of inward FDI


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