In search of FDI horizontal spillovers in China : evidence from meta-analysis

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

5 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1505–1527
Journal / PublicationQuality and Quantity
Issue number3
Online published11 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


This paper contributes to the literature on foreign direct investment (FDI) technology spillover effects, focusing on horizontal spillovers from foreign firms to their domestic competitors. Drawing on a unique dataset of 1018 estimates from 41 studies on FDI horizontal spillovers in China, our main objective is to quantitatively summarize reported estimates corrected for publication bias, and account for the heterogeneity in existing empirical results using meta-regression analysis. Robust to different specifications, we find that (1) the average horizontal spillover effect in China is positive and economically significant; (2) the horizontal spillover effects vary across subgroups of firms characterized by the nature of foreign-invested firms, origin of foreign-invested firms and ownership structure of domestic firms. The meta-regression analysis also uncovers the serious consequences of publication bias and reveals that the heterogeneity in research methods adopted by the profession to a large extent explains the diversity of the reported spillover estimates.

Research Area(s)

  • Foreign direct investment, Horizontal spillover effect, Meta-regression analysis, Method and structural heterogeneity