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Technology Spillovers from Foreign Direct Investments (FDI): an exploration of the active role of MNC subsidiaries in the case of Argentina in the 1990s

Anabel Marin and Martin Bell analyse technology spillovers from foreign direct investments (FDI) in acquring countries and look at the case of Argentina during the 1990s.

The paper questions the conventional wisdom on technology spillovers from FDI which portrays multinational corporation (MNC) subsidiaries as a passive actor in the process. According to these conventional perspectives, the local subsidiary of MNC only serves as a 'leaky' container between the parent firm, the originator of new technologies and the technology transfer pipeline, and the domestic firms absorbing these technologies via spillovers. This paper suggests that, contrary to these views, a substantial part of the potential for technology spillovers is generated within local subsidiaries of foreign companies themselves as a result of their own knowledge-creating activities in the acquiring country.