DP5060 | Strategic R&D Location by Multinational Firms: Spillovers, Technology Sourcing and Competition

Publication Date

23/05/2005

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Abstract

We analyse strategic interaction in R&D internationalization decisions by two multinational firms competing both abroad and in their home markets and examine different incentives for foreign R&D faced by technology leaders and technology laggards. The model takes into account the impact of local inter-firm R&D spillovers, (non-costless) international intra-firm transfer of knowledge, and the notion that internal R&D increases the effectiveness of incoming spillovers. Greater efficiency of intra-firm transfers and greater spillovers increases the attractiveness of home R&D to the technology leader. The lagging firm in contrast increases the share of foreign R&D as overseas technology sourcing becomes more effective. Greater product market competition encourages the leading firm to engage in foreign R&D to capture a larger share of profits on the foreign market, while laggards concentrate more R&D at home to defend their home market position. The country with a stricter intellectual property rights regime attracts a larger share of R&D by both leader and laggard.