What Makes Chinese Firms Productive? - Learning from Indigenous and Foreign Sources of Knowledge

Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Mueller, Mr. Philipp Boeing, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

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.

About the speaker
Elisabeth Mueller is professor for innovation management at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. She obtained her PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics and then worked as post-doc at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, Germany. Her research focuses on the financing of innovative firms, the management of intellectual property and the technological capabilities of Chinese firms. Recently, she visited Boston University and the University of Melbourne as guest researcher.------------ Philipp Boeing is a doctoral fellow at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management’s economics department and the East West Center of Business Studies and Cultural Science. He studied East Asian Studies and Economics at the Ruhr University Bochum and International Business at Frankfurt School. He visited the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai and the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich. His research focus includes economics of innovation and China economic studies.

Venue: Conference Room

Date: 09 October 2012

Time: 12:30 - 13:30  CET