Human Capital Intensity in R&D-performing Firms Located in Portugal: Do Foreign Multinationals Matter?

Ana Teresa Tavares, University of Porto (CEMPRE, Faculty of Economics)

This paper contributes to the scarce empirical literature on the impact of foreign ownership on human capital intensity. New evidence is provided, based on a comprehensive, large-scale survey of R&D performing firms located in Portugal. Using two alternatives measures of human capital (one based on skills, another on education), the key findings are that: (1) foreign ownership directly (and significantly) impacts on firms general human capital (education); (2) foreign ownership indirectly (and significantly) impacts on firms specific human capital (skills); (3) the total impact of foreign ownership on firms’ human capital intensity is higher for education- (general) than for skills- (specific) related human capital intensity. Other findings are that younger and smaller firms tend to be more human capital intensive, and that export patterns are not significantly related to human capital intensity.
Giving the critical importance of both FDI and human capital development for an economy like Portugal (lagging behind in terms of human capital stock, and seeming to have lost part of its attractiveness as an FDI location), the paper discusses related policy implications.

About the speaker
ANA TERESA TAVARES is Assistant Professor at the University of Porto (CEMPRE, Faculty of Economics), Portugal. She has been a Visiting Professor in several international universities. Her areas of specialization include multinational subsidiaries' strategies and evolution, the impact of multinationals on host economies, and FDI-related policies. She has published widely on these topics in international journals and books, and has been a consultant to various institutions on regional development and on FDI policy.

Venue: Conference room 4th floor, Keizer Karelplein 19

Date: 06 March 2008

Time: 16:00 - 17:00