NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Quantifying Productivity Gains from Foreign Investment

Christian Fons-Rosen, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Bent E. Sørensen, Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, Vadym Volosovych

NBER Working Paper No. 18920
Issued in March 2013, Revised in June 2020
NBER Program(s):International Finance and Macroeconomics

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18920

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