Intellectual Returnees as Drivers of Indigenous Innovation: Evidence from the Chinese Photovoltaic Industry

Siping Luo, Mary E. Lovely, David Popp

NBER Working Paper No. 19518
Issued in October 2013
NBER Program(s):   EEE   PR

We offer new evidence on indigenous innovation and intellectual returnees by estimating the relationship between patenting by Chinese photovoltaic firms and the presence of corporate leaders with international experience. Our research approach combines data from three sources: the industrial census, international and domestic patent records, and leadership biographical information. Using nonlinear methods, we find robust evidence that returnees positively influence patenting activity and also promote neighboring firm innovation. We find no tendency for export intensive firms to patent more. Controlling for R&D expenditures, we find that firms with returnees in leadership roles have more patents.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.


Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19518

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Qian and Xie w19586 Drive More Effective Data-Based Innovations: Enhancing the Utility of Secure Databases
Nanda and Rhodes-Kropf w19379 Innovation and the Financial Guillotine
Miao and Popp w19223 Necessity as the Mother of Invention: Innovative Responses to Natural Disasters
Popp w18506 The Role of Technological Change in Green Growth
Tang and Popp w19921 The Learning Process and Technological Change in Wind Power: Evidence from China's CDM Wind Projects
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us