Applied Economics & Policy (AEP) Seminar by Wolfgang Keller

Speaker: Wolfgang Keller, University of Colorado at Boulder

Professor Keller obtained his PhD at Yale University in 1995 and is a professor with interests in international trade & investment and economic development. He is one of the leading experts on the international diffusion of technological knowledge. He also has recent work, funded by the National Science Foundation, on comparative development in China and Europe. He has been a resident scholar at the IMF’s Research Department, as well as an advisor at the World Bank, where currently he is working on a project that focuses on the micro structure of foreign direct investment. He is member of both NBER and CEPR, and his research has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, as well as other journals.

Date/Time: October 13, 2023 (Friday), 2:30 – 4:00 P.M.

Location: B02 Warren Hall

Title: International Joint Ventures and Internal Technology Transfer vs. External Technology Spillovers: Evidence from China

Abstract: We study the economics of international joint ventures using administrative data for China. We first show that foreign investors choose Chinese partners that are relatively large, productive, and more innovative to set up their joint venture. Using a difference-in-differences framework and accounting for these selection effects, we then provide evidence that joint ventures lead to domestic benefits in the form of productivity and technological spillovers to both the Chinese partners in joint ventures as well as other domestic Chinese firms. Exploiting the easing of joint venture requirements as China entered the WTO in the year 2001, we further show that spillovers from joint ventures to other domestic firms increased in the wake of China’s WTO accession, consistent with gains from foreign technology rising due to enhanced commitment through the rules-based WTO system. Our results shed new light on the efficacy of FDI performance requirements as well as on claims regarding international technology transfer that underpinned the China-US trade war.

For information regarding other workshops please visit: