René Belderbos, Bart Leten, and Shinya Suzuki
We examine the influence of host countries’ scientific research strengths on global R&D location choices by multinational firms. In an analysis of 277 new R&D activities identified for 175 firms in 40 host countries and 30 technology fields, we find that the strength of relevant university research positively affects the likelihood that host countries attract foreign R&D. When allowing for firm heterogeneity, university scientific research appears only a significant factor for firms with a strong science orientation in their R&D activities. Host countries’ corporate scientific research has no systematic influence on R&D location choices. Empirical results are replicated in an analysis at the regional level covering regions in Europe, the United States, and Japan.