We examine the "technology sourcing" hypothesis that foreign research labs located in the U.S. tap into U.S. R&D spillovers and improve home country productivity. We show that U.K. firms that established a high proportion of inventors based in the U.S. by 1990 benefited disproportionately from the growth of U.S. R&D stock over the next ten years. We estimate that U.S. R&D during the 1990s was associated with 5 percent higher Total Factor Productivity for U.K. manufacturing firms in 2000 (about $13 billion), with the majority of benefits accruing to firms with an innovative presence in the U.S. (JEL F23, O32, O33)
Griffith, Rachel, Rupert Harrison, and John Van Reenen.
2006."How Special Is the Special Relationship? Using the Impact of U.S. R&D Spillovers on U.K. Firms as a Test of Technology Sourcing."American Economic Review,
96(5): 1859-1875.DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.5.1859