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What makes Chinese firms productive? Learning from indigenous and foreign sources of knowledge

Philipp Boeing, Elisabeth Mueller () and Philipp Sandner

No 196, Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

Abstract: This study investigates how in-house R&D as well as access to national and foreign knowledge sources influences the productivity of Chinese firms. For our main analysis we use data for 1,140 patenting firms listed at mainland China stock exchanges over the time-period 2001-2010. In-house R&D based on indigenous knowledge does indeed improve productivity as does engaging in joint research projects with national partners. In order to benefit from international knowledge, Chinese firms are dependent on an organizational integration of the knowledge source. Joint ventures with foreign partners, acquisitions of foreign firms, and employing foreign researchers inside China contribute to firm productivity, whereas international joint research projects are not sufficient. Our results indicate that at the current stage of China's economic development the absorptive capacity of most firms is sufficient to benefit from foreign sources of knowledge only if an enduring, deep relationship supports the absorption of the knowledge.

Keywords: indigenous innovation; China; knowledge sources; productivity; absorptive capacity; patents (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O32 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-eff, nep-ino, nep-knm, nep-sbm and nep-tra
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:196

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