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Policies to Attract R&D-related FDI in Small Emerging Countries: Aligning Incentives With Local Linkages and Absorptive Capacities in Chile

José Guimón, Cristina Chaminade, Claudio Maggi and Juan Carlos Salazar-Elena

Journal of International Management, 2018, vol. 24, issue 2, 165-178

Abstract: Over the last decade we have witnessed an unprecedented growth in the number of cross-border R&D investments towards large emerging countries such as China and India. However, small middle-income countries have played a marginal role as recipients of R&D-related FDI despite increasing policy efforts. In particular, several Latin American countries have recently launched new policy programs with the aim of attracting this kind of investments, but it remains uncertain whether public incentives can be useful to compensate for other locational disadvantages. The case of Chile provides an interesting empirical setting to explore these issues because during the last decade its government has been actively promoting R&D-related FDI through a new policy mix. This article suggests that for national innovation systems to benefit from the attraction of internationally-mobile R&D it is critical for public policies to ensure that appropriate linkages are established with local actors that hold absorptive capacities. Equally important for a small emerging economy like Chile is to prioritize R&D-related FDI in strategic technology niches where the country can realistically attain critical mass.

Keywords: Absorptive capacity; Linkages; Global innovation networks; FDI; R&D; Chile; Latin America (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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