Globalizing manufacturing but not invention: automotive transplants in the United States

Breandan O'Huallachain, Jacob Douma, Kevin Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Production by foreign-owned automotive firms in the United States provides an opportunity to investigate the co-location of technological advance and manufacturing. While some scholars report that certain foreign firms are transplanting both of these activities to the United States, others are more circumspect. We first identify automotive patents across American metropolitan areas to develop a new taxonomy of automotive invention. Patent ownership is then traced, showing a clear gap between foreign-owned firms’ production in the United States and formation of invention capital. The findings support a hypothesis that globalization of manufacturing noticeably outpaces the spread of invention assets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-827
Number of pages12
JournalRegional Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2018


  • automotive
  • invention
  • location
  • production
  • transplants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


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