Foreign direct investment technology transfer and protection of intellectual property rights
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Foreign Direct Investment, Technology Transfer and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik The World Bank. What does theory tell us?. Dunning’s OLI paradigm O wnership advantages L ocation advantages I nternalization advantages. Ownership advantages.

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Foreign direct investment technology transfer and protection of intellectual property rights l.jpg

Foreign Direct Investment, Technology Transfer and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

Beata Smarzynska Javorcik

The World Bank


What does theory tell us l.jpg
What does theory tell us? Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • Dunning’s OLI paradigm

    • Ownership advantages

    • Location advantages

    • Internalization advantages


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Ownership advantages Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • Large share of world R&D effort is conducted by MNCs, mostly in home countries

  • MNCs spend large amounts on advertising

  • MNCs possess valuable brand names

    • Coca-Cola (valued at 70 billion dollars)

    • Microsoft (65 billion)

    • IBM (52 billion)

      => MNCs want to protect knowledge/technology/ brand names


Location advantages l.jpg
Location advantages Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • Market size (population size, income per capita)

  • Factor costs (labor costs, natural resources)

  • Business climate

    • protection of property rights, including IPRs

    • corruption

    • taxation

    • labor and environmental standards

      => IPR protection as ONE of the many elements of business climate


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Internalization advantages Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • Determine choice between FDI and licensing

  • Stronger IPR protection => higher likelihood of licensing rather than FDI


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Empirical evidence on the link between IPRs and FDI Volume Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • Lee and Mansfield (1996), Smith (2001)

    • positive correlation between the strength of IPR protection on the volume of US FDI

  • But no significant results in Ferrantino (1993) and Primo Braga and Fink (2000)

    => mixed evidence on IPRs and volume of FDI


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IPR and composition of FDI Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • Some sectors are more reliant on formal IPR protection than others

    • For instance, unauthorized used of technology is less likely in sectors requiring high amount of investment, such as automobiles

  • Weak IPR protection deters FDI inflows into IPR sensitive sectors (Javorcik, forthcoming)

    • drugs, cosmetics, healthcare products

    • chemicals

    • machinery and equipment

    • electrical equipment

      => IPR protection matters for foreign investors in certain sectors


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IPRs and purpose of FDI projects Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • Firm survey (Mansfield 1994) – the importance of IPR protection depends on the nature of the investment project

    • sales and distribution - 20% of investors consider IPRs to be important

    • rudimentary production / assembly - 30%

    • manufacturing - 50-60%

    • R&D - 80%


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IPRs and purpose of FDI projects Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • Evidence from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (Javorcik, forthcoming)

    • An increase in IPR protection shifts foreign investors preference away from projects focusing solely on distribution and towards setting up manufacturing activities


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What matters for FDI is Enforcement Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • High incidence of corruption => weak enforcement

    • Corruption acts as a tax on foreign investors, deterring FDI inflows (Wei, 2000)

    • Corruption shifts investors’ preference away from wholly-owned subsidiaries and towards joint ventures (Javorcik and Wei, 2001)


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Technology transfer and entry mode Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • Empirical studies find that investors with sophisticated technologies and valuable brand names are more likely to set up wholly-owned subsidiaries (WOS) than joint ventures (JVs) (Stopford and Wells, 1972; Javorcik, 2001)

  • Technologies introduced into JVs in developing countries are 3-4 years older than those introduced into WOS (Mansfield and Romeo, 1980; Lee and Mansfield, 1996)

  • More movement of staff (managers, technicians) accompanied transfer of technologies to WOS than to JVs (Ramachandran , 1993)

    => Corruption may have implication for the entry mode and thus technological content of investment projects


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Why should we care? Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • MNCs account for a large share of the world’s R&D effort

  • MNCs as a channel of technology transfer to host countries

    • MNC subsidiaries have higher productivity than domestic firms

    • Mixed evidence on intra-sectoral spillovers from FDI (strong results for developed countries but mixed conclusions for developing economies)

    • Positive evidence of inter-sectoral spillovers from FDI (i.e., spillovers from MNCs to their local suppliers)


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Conclusions Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

  • IPR protection is ONE of the many elements of business climate affecting FDI inflows

  • IPR protection affects particularly

    • investors in high tech sectors which rely heavily on patent protection

    • manufacturing and R&D projects (but little impact on assembly or distribution)

      => Implications of IPR protection for technology transfer through FDI


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