The study analyses the role played by technological determinants, using the approach of National System of Innovation (NSI), in enhancing or hampering Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) with different motivations, namely horizontal and vertical FDI. The empirical analysis is carried out using data relative to the final destination of sales of US foreign subsidiaries in 42 host countries grouped according to income criteria. A two step empirical strategy is employed: first, we estimate a benchmark model finding that technological determinants mainly drive HFDI rather than VFDI. Secondly, applying a dynamic panel data approach we take into account that agglomeration economies may play a role as well more than other FDI determinants. Finally, through a sensitivity analysis we account for different ways of measuring HFDI and VFDI finding that measurement issue matters especially to establish which component of NSI results of greater relevance.
Keywords: horizontal FDI, vertical FDI, FDI technological determinants, national system of innovation