Wage Spillovers from Foreign Direct Investment in Kenya’s Manufacturing Sector

  •  Wycliff Mariga Ombuki    
  •  Bethuel Kinyanjui Kinuthia    
  •  Daniel Okado Abala    


The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of foreign direct investment on average wages paid by domestic manufacturing firms in Kenya. Specifically, the paper aims at identifying the transmission channels through which wage spillovers from foreign direct investment occur as well as the impact of technology gap and firm size on the behaviour of the spillover transmission channels. Employing panel data obtained from the World Bank Enterprise Surveys covering the period 2007–2018 and using fixed effects and Two-Step System GMM, we analyzed both horizontal and vertical spillover channels for wage spillovers. Findings from estimations based on all domestic firms indicated that there were no significant wage spillovers from FDI. However, when the technology gap was considered, domestic firms with low technology gaps with foreign-owned firms showed statistically significant positive wage spillovers via backward linkage, demonstration effects, and labour mobility channels and statistically significant negative spillovers via the competition effects channel. Finally, the results showed that firm size had no impact on the behaviour of various wage spillover transmission channels examined.

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