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A model of demand, productivity and foreign location decision among Taiwanese firms

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  • Aw, Bee Yan
  • Lee, Yi
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    Abstract

    We develop a theoretical framework to examine the relative importance of firm demand and productivity in firm decisions to export and where to locate foreign direct investments. The model shows that the equilibrium firm decision depends on product technology, consumer preference for product quality, fixed investment costs of establishing a foreign subsidiary, transportation costs and relative wages. Our empirical results confirm the predictions of the theoretical model. Firm-level demand and productivity components are important in explaining the decision to participate in foreign markets with their relative importance depending on the firm's organizational form (exports versus FDI) and the destination of the investments. In general, FDI firms are more productive than exporting firms regardless of FDI destinations. FDI firms also have a higher demand component than exporters and this demand component is stronger than productivity. Finally, among FDI firms, while those with a high demand index and productivity have a significantly higher propensity to invest in high-income countries, firm productivity is the sole determinant of firms undertaking FDI in low-income countries.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 92 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 304-316

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:92:y:2014:i:2:p:304-316

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Foreign direct investment; Productivity; Demand factors;

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    References

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    1. Matthieu Crozet & Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2009. "Quality sorting and trade: Firm-level evidence for French wine," Sciences Po publications 7295, Sciences Po.
    2. Maggie Xiaoyang Chen & Michael Owen Moore, 2009. "Location Decisions of Heterogeneous Multinational Firms," Working Papers 2009-17, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
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    4. Juan Carlos Hallak & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2010. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 99, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Mar 2010.
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    14. Bee Yan Aw & Mark J. Roberts & Daniel Yi Xu, 2011. "R&D Investment, Exporting, and Productivity Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1312-44, June.
    15. Aw, Bee Yan & Lee, Yi, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and location choice of Taiwanese multinationals," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 167-179, May.
    16. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade liberalization, exports and technology upgrading: Evidence on the impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean firms," Economics Working Papers 1173, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    17. Johnson, Robert C., 2012. "Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-56.
    18. Aw, Bee Yan & Lee, Yi, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and location choice of Taiwanese multinationals," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 403-415, December.
    19. 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.
    20. Jože P. Damijan & Črt Kostevc & Sašo Polanec, 2010. "From Innovation to Exporting or Vice Versa?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 374-398, 03.
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