Working Paper

What Induces Firms to License Foreign Technologies? International Survey Evidence

Kiel Working Papers, 2100

The paper provides firm-level insights into the drivers of foreign technology licensing from the perspective of the licensee, using data across 114 nations. Drawing on the theoretical foundations related to knowledge spillovers, results show that manufacturing firms with own R&D capabilities were more likely to license foreign technologies, as were larger firms and those situated in the nations’ main business city. Greater literacy facilitated foreign technology licensing, while overall economic prosperity of a nation did not have a significant impact. Interestingly, higher domestic interest rates, related to capital costs and to overall monetary policy, induced firms to license technology from abroad. Finally, some institutions like greater economic freedom aided technology licensing, while others like strong patent protection were not found to have a sizable impact.


Michael A. Nelson