DP9434 Quantifying Productivity Gains from Foreign Investment

Author(s): Christian Fons-Rosen, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Bent E Sørensen, Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, Vadym Volosovych
Publication Date: April 2013
Date Revised: June 2020
Keyword(s): Advanced Countries, Majority Ownership, Multinationals, Selection
JEL(s): E32, F15, F36, O16
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics, International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9434

We revisit the relationship between foreign investment and productivity of acquired firms. First, we construct a panel firm-level dataset for eight advanced European countries covering domestic and foreign acquisitions together with detailed balance sheet information for the years 1999-2012. Second, we address the challenge of identifying a causal relation. To that end, we compare foreign to domestic acquisitions in addition to accounting for the impact of majority versus minority acquisitions after controlling for country and sector trends. The productivity of foreign acquired affiliates increases modestly after four years, but only when majority stakes are acquired by foreigners. Our results are driven by foreign acquisitions and not by foreign divestment.