Wholly Owned Subsidiary Versus Technology Licensing in the Worldwide Chemical Industry


This paper empirically analyzes the determinants of the choice between wholly owned subsidiary and technology licensing as a strategy for expansion abroad. We use a new and comprehensive database on worldwide plant level investments in the chemical industry during the 1981–1991 period. We find that both cultural distance and the presence of other potential licensors favor the use of licensing as a strategy for expanding abroad, whereas, prior experience favors the choice of wholly owned subsidiary. An implication of this study is that competition in the market for technology can foster the international diffusion of technology through the use of arm's length agreements.

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*Ashish Arora is associate professor at the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on the economics of technological change. He has worked extensively on the chemical and software industries.

**Andrea Fosfuri is assistant professor at the Business Department of the University Carlos III, Madrid, and research affiliate at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). His research centers on the areas of international economics and business, and technology strategy.

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Arora, A., Fosfuri, A. Wholly Owned Subsidiary Versus Technology Licensing in the Worldwide Chemical Industry. J Int Bus Stud 31, 555–572 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8490922

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