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Multinational firms, monopolistic competition and foreign investment uncertainty

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  • Arunish Chawla
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    Abstract

    This is a model of multinational firms, which introduces option value of foreign direct investment, into a framework of Dixit-Stiglitz type monopolistic competition. Starting from a pure trading equilibrium and solving for the optimal investment rule gives a scale-up factor which implies existence of a wedge between markup revenues and foreign investment costs. Greater volatility and risk aversion increase this scale-up over foreign investment costs implying a delay in the exercise of FDI option, while growing market size and national income facilitate early exercise. The model is extended to include a Poisson jump process, which has policy implications for FDI reforms and explains ‘wait and watch’ behaviour of multinational firms better than a pure comparative advantage-trade cost framework does. While investment under uncertainty literature is based on the theory of call options, I solve ‘FDI option’ as a put option, thereby also enriching the theory of real options.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19592/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19592.

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    Length: 39 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19592

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    Related research

    Keywords: Multinational firm; monopolistic competition; foreign investment uncertainty; FDI option;

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    1. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
    2. Bruce Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 383-403, December.
    3. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
    4. Rafael Rob & Nikolaos Vettas, 2001. "Foreign Direct Investment and Exports with Growing Demand," Penn CARESS Working Papers f8c083d9257897f97ff49d054, Penn Economics Department.
    5. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, December.
    6. Lipsey, Robert E & Weiss, Merle Yahr, 1981. "Foreign Production and Exports in Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(4), pages 488-94, November.
    7. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Multinational Firms and The New Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 5036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Avinash Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck & Sigbjorn Sodal, 1997. "A Markup Interpretation of Optimal Rules for Irreversible Investment," NBER Working Papers 5971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
    10. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Multinational Corporations and Trade with a Trade-Off Between Proximity and Concentration," NBER Working Papers 4269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," NBER Working Papers 10480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc J & Yeaple, Stephen R, 2003. "Export versus FDI," CEPR Discussion Papers 3741, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Magnus Blomstrom & Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1988. "Multinational Firms and Manufactured Exports from Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 2493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Brainard, S Lael, 1997. "An Empirical Assessment of the Proximity-Concentration Trade-off between Multinational Sales and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 520-44, September.
    16. Rafael Rob & Nikolaos Vettas, 2003. "Foreign Direct Investment and Exports with Growing Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 629-648.
    17. Robert C. Merton, 1973. "Theory of Rational Option Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(1), pages 141-183, Spring.
    18. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
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