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Firm Heterogeneity and the Structure of U.S. Multinational Activity: An Empirical Analysis

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  • Stephen Yeaple

Abstract

We use firm-level data for U.S. multinational enterprises (MNE) and the model of firm heterogeneity first presented in Helpman, Melitz, and Yeaple (2004) 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 provide a systematic assessment of the model's shortcomings in order to inform the development of new theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14072.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Publication status: published as Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2009. "Firm heterogeneity and the structure of U.S. multinational activity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 206-215, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14072

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  1. 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.
  2. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2003. "Export versus FDI," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1998, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. 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.
  7. Volker Nocke, 2003. "A Gap for Me: Entrepreneurs and Entry," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-026, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 29 Sep 2005.
  8. Keller, Wolfgang & Yeaple, Stephen R, 2009. "Global Production and Trade in the Knowledge Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7175, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. 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.
  10. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
  11. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Working Papers 07-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  12. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel S & Kramarz, Francis, 2009. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
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Cited by:
  1. Wolfgang Keller & Stephen R. Yeaple, . "Global Production and Trade in the Knowledge Economy," Discussion Papers 09/07, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  2. Yalcin, Erdal & Sala, Davide, 2012. "Uncertain productivity growth and the choice between FDI and export," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 19/2012, Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark.
  3. WAKASUGI Ryuhei & Hongyong ZHANG, 2012. "Effects of Ownership on Exports and FDI: Evidence from Chinese firms," Discussion papers 12058, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  4. Deniz Erdem, 2012. "Foreign direct investments, energy efficiency, and innovation dynamics," Mineral Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 119-133, June.
  5. Bas, Maria, 2012. "Input-trade liberalization and firm export decisions: Evidence from Argentina," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 481-493.
  6. Stanley Watt, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and Weak Intellectual Property Rights," IMF Working Papers 07/161, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Co, Catherine Yap, 2010. "Intra- and inter-firm US trade," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 260-277, April.

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