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Firm heterogeneity and the structure of U.S. multinational activity

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  • Yeaple, Stephen Ross

Abstract

We use firm-level data for U.S. multinational enterprises (MNEs) and the model of firm heterogeneity presented in Helpman, Melitz, and Yeaple [Helpman, E., Melitz, M., Yeaple, S., 2004. Exports versus FDI with heterogeneous firms. The American Economic Review 94 (1), 300-316.] to make four empirical contributions. First, we show that the most productive U.S. firms invest in a larger number of foreign countries and sell more in each country in which they operate. Second, we assess the importance of firm heterogeneity in the structure of MNE activity. Third, we use the model to identify the mechanisms through which country characteristics affect the structure of MNE activity. Finally, we assess the model's shortcomings in order to inform the development of new theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 78 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 206-215

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:78:y:2009:i:2:p:206-215

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

Related research

Keywords: Multinational enterprise Firm heterogeneity Foreign direct investment Production location decisions;

References

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  1. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus export decision of Japanese manufacturers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 448-467, December.
  2. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Volker Nocke, 2006. "A Gap for Me: Entrepreneurs and Entry," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 929-956, 09.
  5. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Sourafel Girma & Richard Kneller & Mauro Pisu, 2005. "Exports versus FDI: An Empirical Test," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(2), pages 193-218, July.
  7. Eiichi Tomiura, 2005. "Foreign Outsourcing, Exporting, and FDI: A Productivity Comparison at the Firm Level," Discussion Paper Series 168, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  8. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2008. "FDI as an outcome of the market for corporate control: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 2-20, January.
  9. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  10. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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