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Innovative Activities of Multinational Enterprises in Austria


Bernhard Dachs

This book contributes to ongoing policy discussions on the internationalisation of innovation. Foreign-owned enterprises account for a rising share of national innovation expenditures and have become key actors in the national innovation systems of almost all OECD countries. Their new roles give rise to both hopes and concerns. The author examines the innovative activities of foreign-owned enterprises in Austria, a country with a huge share of overseas R&D investment. Empirical analysis reveals that foreign-owned enterprises exhibit a superior innovation performance compared to domestically owned enterprises. The performance differences, however, can be explained by factors such as firm size, sectoral affiliation, and export intensity, rather than by the ownership status. With respect to policy, the results neither confirm fears that foreign ownership could lead to an erosion of innovative activity in the host country, nor do they provide arguments for specific incentives to attract foreign-owned enterprises. Innovation policy should instead try to foster innovative capabilities of both foreign-owned and domestically owned enterprises.
Contents: Key terms and concepts – A summary of the stylized facts – The linkage between foreign ownership and innovation: building blocks from the literature – Empirical analysis of the innovative behavior of foreign-owned enterprises in Austria with CIS Data – The emergence of subsidiary mandates: A case study – Policies to benefit from the internationalisation of innovation.