Absorptive Capacity and the Benefits from Global Reservoirs or Knowledge: Evidence from a Linked China-OECD Dataset (Xiaolan Fu and Yundan Gong)


This paper investigates the role of absorptive capacity in the diffusion of global technology with sector and firm heterogeneity. We construct the FDI-intensity weighted global R&D stock for each industry and link it to Chinese firm-level panel data relating to 53,981 firms over the period 2001-2005. Non-parametric frontier analysis is employed to explore how absorptive capacity affects technical change and catch-up in the presence of global knowledge spillovers. We find that R&D activities and training at individual firms serve as an effective source of absorptive capability. The contribution of absorptive capacity varies according to the type of FDI and the extent of openness.

Working Paper