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Greenfield foreign direct investments and regional environmental technologies

Castellani, D. ORCID:, Marin, G., Montresor, S. and Zanfei, A. (2022) Greenfield foreign direct investments and regional environmental technologies. Research Policy, 51 (1). 104405. ISSN 0048-7333

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2021.104405


This paper builds on (eco-)innovation geography and international business studies to investigate the effects of greenfield foreign direct investments (FDIs) on regional specialisation in environmental technologies. Combining the OECD-REGPAT and the fDi Markets datasets with respect to 1,050 European NUTS3 regions over the 2003–2014 period, we find that FDIs can positively impact regions’ specialisation in green technologies. This effect is statically significant when FDIs occur in industries where environmental patents represent a relatively high share of total inventive activities (green-tech FDIs), and it is further reinforced if such foreign investments involve R&D activities. We also find that green-tech R&D FDIs have a larger effect in regions whose prior knowledge base is highly unrelated to environmental technologies. Furthermore, green-tech FDIs in R&D contribute to maintaining the specialisation of regions in environmental technologies over time, while it is only for high levels of unrelatedness that such FDIs help regions acquire a green-tech specialisation ex novo.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:100856


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