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Distance and Foreign Direct Investment when Contracts are Incomplete

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  • Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano
  • Alessandro Turrini

Abstract

We introduce incomplete contracts in a model where multinational firms from a certain country ("North") can decide to serve a foreign market ("South") through exports or through horizontal foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI relies on the supply of specialized intermediate inputs that could be supplied either by northern suppliers or by suppliers located in South. Intermediate sourcing contracts are complete in North but not in South. Were southern contracts also complete, FDI would arise only when trade barriers are high enough. Incomplete contracts in South generate, instead, a non-linear relation between trade barriers and FDI as foreign investment emerges also when trade barriers are low enough. The reason is the positive effect that low trade barriers have on the bargaining power of final producers with respect to their southern suppliers. (JEL: F23, F12) (c) 2007 by the European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 5 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (06)
Pages: 796-822

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:5:y:2007:i:4:p:796-822

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Cited by:
  1. Spiros Bougheas & Holger Görg, . "Organizational Forms for Global Engagement of Firms," Discussion Papers 08/33, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  2. Mugele, Christian & Schnitzer, Monika, 2006. "Organization of Multinational Activities and Ownership Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 5592, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Alireza Naghavi & Julia Spies & Farid Toubal, 2013. "IPR, Product Complexity and the Organization of Multinational Firms," Working Papers 2013-31, CEPII research center.
  4. Alireza Naghavi & Julia Spies & Farid Toubal, 2013. "Intellectual Property Rights, Product Complexity, and the Organization of Multinational Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 4430, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Arti Grover, 2008. "Vertical FDI versus Outsourcing: A Welfare Comparison from the Perspective of the Host Country," DEGIT Conference Papers c013_009, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.

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