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Dissipation of Knowledge and the Boundaries of the Multinational Enterprise

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  • Valeria Gattai

    (Bocconi University and ISESAO)

Abstract

This paper provides a theoretical formalisation of the joint-venture contract, as an alternative to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), within a Dissipation of Intangible Assets framework. In a two-period model, we discuss how the threat of knowledge spillover shapes the boundaries of a Multinational Enterprise. Similarly to the theoretical findings on the FDI-licensing trade off, we show that the integrated solution is more likely to emerge when know-how easily spills over – i.e. when firms are endowed with more Intangible Assets or they belong to high tech industries. Probit estimates, from a new firm-level dataset, show that Japanese manufacturing operations in Europe are in line with these predictions.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2005.121.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.121

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Keywords: Dissipation; Intangible assets; FDI; joint-venture; Internalisation; Japan;

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  1. Andrea Fosfuri & Massimo Motta & Thomas Ronde, 1998. "Foreign direct investments and spillovers through workers' mobility," Economics Working Papers 258, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2006. "Power Inside the Firm and the Market: A General Equilibrium Approach," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 109, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  3. Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 1996. "Multinationals, Linkages, and Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 852-73, September.
  4. M Krishna Erramilli, 1996. "Nationality and Subsidiary Ownership Patterns in Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(2), pages 225-248, June.
  5. Horstmann, Ignatius J & Markusen, James R, 1996. "Exploring New Markets: Direct Investment, Contractual Relations and the Multinational Enterprise," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 1-19, February.
  6. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Peter J Buckley & Mark Casson, 1996. "An Economic Model of International Joint Venture Strategy," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(5), pages 849-876, December.
  8. Mattoo, Aaditya & Olarreaga, Marcelo & Saggi, Kamal, 2001. "Mode of foreign entry, technology transfer, and foreign direct investment policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2737, The World Bank.
  9. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Managerial incentives and the international organization of production," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 237-262, July.
  10. Hennart, J.-F., 1991. "Control in multinational firms : the role of price and hierarchy," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-174431, Tilburg University.
  11. Blomstrom, Magnus, 1986. "Foreign Investment and Productive Efficiency: The Case of Mexico," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(1), pages 97-110, September.
  12. Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo & Turrini, Alessandro Antonio, 2003. "Distance and FDI When Contracts are Incomplete," CEPR Discussion Papers 4041, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
  14. Ethier, W.J. & Markusen, J.R., 1993. "Multinational Firms, Technology Diffusion and Trade," ISER Discussion Paper 0303, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  15. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
  16. Rugman, Alan M, 1986. "New Theories of the Multinational Enterprise: An Assessment of Internalization Theory," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 101-18, May.
  17. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2002. "Intellectual property rights and foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 387-410, March.
  18. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2004. "Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 10198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Peter J Buckley & Mark Casson, 1996. "An Economic Model of International Joint Venture Strategy," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(4), pages 849-876, December.
  20. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2002. "International Joint Ventures and the Boundaries of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 9115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Saggi, Kamal, 1999. "Foreign Direct Investment, Licensing, and Incentives for Innovation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 699-714, November.
  22. Mansfield, Edwin & Romeo, Anthony, 1980. "Technology Transfer to Overseas Subsidiaries by U.S.-Based Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 737-50, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Dischinger, Matthias & Riedel, Nadine, 2008. "Corporate Taxes and the Location of Intangible Assets Within Multinational Firms," Discussion Papers in Economics 5294, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Karkinsky, Tom & Riedel, Nadine, 2012. "Corporate taxation and the choice of patent location within multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 176-185.
  3. Onur Koska, 2009. "Foreign Direct Investment For Sale," Working Papers 0910, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2009.

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